While the Nordic countries generally perform well when measuring gender equality in politics, they differ on some interesting touchpoints. As of November 2022, three out of five prime ministers in the Nordic countries were women. When Finland's prime minister Sanna Marin took office in 2019, she was the youngest prime minister in the world at 34. Moreover, over 40 percent of the parliamentarians in all five Nordic countries. However, none of them have managed to reach the 50 percent mark yet.
Denmark as an outlierApart from not making the top-five on the global gender gap index, Denmark falls behind on other important parameters. Up until the election in 2022, Denmark was the only Nordic country which had never had more than 40 percent of women in parliament. Moreover, with around 38 percent, the share of female candidates in parliamentary elections continues to be lower than in other Nordic countries. Hence, Denmark continues having a gender gap in politics, although it seems to be decreasing. According to Danish politicians, the extent of harassment and threats are more common among women. In 2019, over 20 percent of the female politicians in the country had experienced sexual harassment online, and 20 percent stated that the latest harassment was related to their female gender.
Gender (in)equality in the NordicsWhen compared to other European countries, sexual harassment against women is not uncommon in Scandinavia. To the contrary, women in Sweden and Denmark actually experience some of the highest levels of unwanted sexual attention in Europe. Many experts believe that this is connected to a lower threshold of reporting in the Nordic countries compared to several other European countries. However, it has also been suggested that the high levels of sexual violence in the Nordic countries is related to gender emancipation, the theory being that this leads to higher conflict levels between pairs. The high levels of sexual violence in the Nordic countries in spite of their status as gender equal countries has been called the Nordic paradox.
Even though the gender pay gap in the Nordic countries is around the EU average, the gender pay gap is almost non-existent among politicians in the Nordic countries. For instance, women in central government positions in Sweden earn roughly the same as men in the same positions, and in Iceland, female senior government officials even earn more than their male counterparts. Furthermore, the Nordic countries are considered the best to work in for women in the world, with Sweden ranking highest. Female unemployment rates are also low in the Nordic countries.