Written by Mariko Mitsui
Published by Mainichi Newspapers Co.,Tokyo,Japan,1999
264 pages. 20 photoes. 12 tables. 1800 yen.

In 1997 Norway ranked as the world top among 175 nations in the Gender Empowerment Measure, according to the United Nations Development Program study.

Back in 1965, it had been a nation where nine out of ten mothers with young children stayed home as good old-fashioned housewives.

The book recounts how the remarkable change came about mainly on the basis of information derived from personal interviews with a former prime minister, NHO president, the husband of Minister for Gender Equality, feminist advocates, the Ombud for Gender Equality, local councilors and young students. Additional information was sought from a variety of printed sources.




Chapter I @


*A news item in a 1986 newspaper
*Equal Employment Opportunity Law in Japan
*Studying in the United States
*Lobbying a state legislature
*The Japanese Diet sans women
*Why are there so many women legislators in Norway?
*A Miracle victory
*Politics left to men

(table1: Womenfs Empowerment in Norway and Japan)


1 Prime Minister Borten, Leader of Womenfs Campaign
*To Trondheim
*My daddy, college teacher and councilor
*A male prime minister holds reins on womenfs movement
*The prime ministerfs reminiscences
*Women didnft believe in women
*A wife effect
*I am just a middle-of-the-road politician
*The impact of the quota system
*Single-member district system is hostile to gender
*A veteran statesman for womenfs lib

(table 2: Gender Empowerment Measure by UNDP)

2 Male Journalist on Nine-Month Child Care Leave
*Mom, minister and daddy stays home
*To kindergarten with daddy
*EU and a male journalist with an infant
*Reform program for working parents
*The gFatherfs quotah
*An expecting minister
*Loneliness on fatherfs leave
*hSoft valueh
*The greatest revolution of the 20 century

3 Business Federation President Bakes Bread
*One women board member for every ten men
*A presidentfs fifth year decision
*New department for promoting of women to managerial ranks
*Head-hunting the World Bank
* Enterprises adapt to womenfs body
*My wife, a therapist


1 How Ms. Birgit Wiig Set the Ball Rolling
*triggering womenfs massive entry into local legislatures
*One womanfs idea
*Accosting Mr. Einar Gerhardsen, a former prime minister on a street
*Womenfs solidarity vs. the political party line
*10 % should be women
*Campaign bills footed by Oslo
*We did it! @A 50% gain

2 Womenfs CoupdfEtat
*Women win majorities in three cities
*Women can do it!
*Zero in on cities with too few women councilors
*The gwitch dancing on a broomh award

3 Womenfs Liberation Movement
*To the center stage of political power
*Being women does not make them unite
*The feminist author behind lbsen
*300,000 women get out of husbandsf umbrellas
*Equal rights for children of unmarried women
*Demands of industry
*Cross men out!
*Committee of menfs role

(table 3 : Women in Japanese and Norwegian Labour Force)
(table 4 : Womenfs Liberation History in Norway)

Chapter IV @


1 Why Political Parties Adopted the Quota System
*What is quota?
*Quota system in national elections
*hA man first, a woman secondh or ga woman first, a man secondh?
*Two female leadersf challenge

2 Witness of History: Case 1 (Ms. Berit Ase)
*EC election marks a watershed
*A new party?@ Then adopt quota
*Move first and win for sure
*Other parties follow suit
*The template farmersf genius

3 Witness of History: Case 2 (Ms. Eva Kolstad)
*Party divided by EC issues
*No opposition from within the party
*Quota is the key

4 Law for Gender Equality
*Gender Equality Law and Ombud
*Road to the Gender Equality Law
*Aims and characteristics of the law
*40% provision added after 10 years
*Women account for 40% of public advisory bodiesf membership

(table 5 : Women in Decision Making Positions)

5 Ombud for Gender Equality@
*A judge and a minister divided by 2 equals an ombud
*First Ombud was a feminist activist
*Present Ombud is mother of a young child@
*Women cannot be inferior to men

6 Prime Minister Gro H. Brundtland
*60% of college students support quota
*How the quota cabinet was born
*You canft become a prime minister. You are a boy.

(table 6: Poll on Quota System, Aamot city, 1996)


1 Proportional Representation in National and Local Elections
*Proportional representation comes to the rescue the minority
*Local election began to use PR in the 19th century
*Invisible rules block Japanese womenfs path

(table 7: Electoral System and Womenfs Representation)

2 Voters May Rewrite Candidate Lists
*Huge and thick ballots
*Ballots tell candidatesf addresses and occupations
*Voterfs three rights
*Right to rewrite candidate lists
*Backlash from men

3 Fair Decision Making Process for Selection of Candidates
*Candidates selected one year before
*A living sample of the quota system
*I prefer being a city mayor to being a member of parliament
*Bottom-up selection process
*Behind-the-scenes selection process in Japan
*Any interventions by the party headquarters?
*The way Japanese candidates are chosen, as I saw it

4 Volunteer Local Assembly Members
*Exemption from local legislative duties at 65
*Local legislators are unpaid
*Almost all city councilors hold paid jobs elsewhere@

5 Alternate Assembly Member System
*First woman member of parliament was an alternate
*Alternate are future principals
*Alternates support principals
*Two mayors for a city@

6 Equal Participation Forging Ahead
*First woman councilor in 1902
*Pioneers in Aamot
*Norwegian women were first to win right to vote of independent nations
*Foreigners in Norway and Norwegians abroad can vote, too
*Even high school students can
*Even those pressed of time can

(table 8: Female City Councilors and Members of Parliament by Constituency)

Chapter VI @


1 A Small Japanese Town vs. A Small Norwegian City
*Hikimi Town, Shimane
*Social welfare & health care expert, Ms.Nakamura, vs. construction company executive, Mr. Yamazaki
*Aamot in Hedmark

(table 9: A Norwegian City and A Japanese Town)

2 Which is A Happier Place for Elderly?
*Nursing homes: zero vs. 71 rooms
*Home service centers: 8 vs. 40
*Location of service centers: border of town vs. downtown
*Day-care service visits: weekly vs. daily
*Home helpers: desks next to bossfs vs. separate rooms
*Meal catering service: volunteer housewives vs. by civil servants

3 Japanese Womenfs CoupdfEtat
*A woman crossed out
*Petition campaign
*Senior citizenfs welfare is a womenfs issue
*Womenfs coupdfEtat in Hikimi
*Limits of politics controlled by men alone
*Gender equality spells highest welfare
*How legislative agenda changes when more women are elected
*Leave politics to women

(table 10: Pensioners on Norway and Japan)
(table 11: Budget Allocation in Norwegian Municipalities)


(translated by Mariko Mitsui)@