Norway PM praises women, bravery, condemns bullying / News / The Foreigner

Norway PM praises women, bravery, condemns bullying. Labour’s (Ap) Jens Stoltenberg focused on women’s equal rights and conditions in his traditional New Year’s speech for 2013. At the same time as paying tribute to Utøya Island heroes, he warned the government has zero tolerance for bullying and Internet hate. He opened his address today declaring that 2013 marks exactly 100 years since Norway’s women got to vote on exactly the same terms as men. Notable examples “It marked the beginning of an adventure for the entire country. Increased equality over 100 years has lit hopes, sparked dreams, and given new strength to believe in a better society,” said the Prime Minister, citing Fernanda Nissen as one example.

norwayprimeminister, jensstoltenbergnewyear, utoya, utoeya



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Norway PM praises women, bravery, condemns bullying

Published on Tuesday, 1st January, 2013 at 21:59 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last Updated on 1st January 2013 at 23:44.

Labour’s (Ap) Jens Stoltenberg focused on women’s equal rights and conditions in his traditional New Year’s speech for 2013. At the same time as paying tribute to Utøya Island heroes, he warned the government has zero tolerance for bullying and Internet hate.

Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg
Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg
Photo: Statsministerenskontor/Flickr


He opened his address today declaring that 2013 marks exactly 100 years since Norway’s women got to vote on exactly the same terms as men.

Notable examples

“It marked the beginning of an adventure for the entire country. Increased equality over 100 years has lit hopes, sparked dreams, and given new strength to believe in a better society,” said the Prime Minister, citing Fernanda Nissen as one example.

Mrs Nissen (née Thomasen), as she was named as a result of her second marriage to physician, newspaper editor, and Labour politician Elias Gottlieb Oscar Egede Nissen,  worked as a teacher.

She was subsequently a journalist at publications including newspapers Dagbladet and now independent Dagsavisen (formerly a governmental Leftist mouthpiece called Social-Demokraten, then Arbeiderbladet until 1997).

Chairperson of match-workers’ organisation ‘Fyrstikkarbeidernes fagforening’, she spearheaded their 1889 strike, “and answered the charge by those who claimed that women are not suited to politics,” explained Prime Minister Stoltenberg.

He also mentioned former runner Grete Waitz, who died from cancer on 19 April 2011, aged 57. HRH Crown Prince Haakon joined a tribute in memory of her at Oslo’s Bislett Stadium the following month.

“[In addition, Labour Prime Minister] Gro Harlem Brundtland wrote history when she formed her government in 1986”, stated Prime Minister Stoltenberg, “eight of her Cabinet members were women.”

Education, equality

Talking of women and working life, the Prime Minister also stated education being the key to women’s freedom of choice and the future.

“It’s gratifying, therefore, that Norwegian schools - and our teachers - are now showing good progress in international studies,” he declared, “this is how a good school contributes to creating one of the world's most egalitarian countries."

2012’s Teacher Education and Development Study (TEDS) – undertaken by students from 17 different countries – showed that Norwegian student teachers’ mathematics skills are on par with third-world countries.

Moreover, research conducted by the Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) in 2011 suggested Norwegian male teachers are less intelligent than several decades ago, Norway performed badly in this year’s Times Higher Education ‘World University Rankings 2012-13’.

Hope

In his speech, Prime Minister Stoltenberg shared his vision of “daring to paint an ideal for our country with brave women as role models”.

Almost two years ago, he declared he was thrilled that his Cabinet was dominated by women.

Norwegian legislation also states that women must make up at least 40 percent of board seats in certain countries, including those that are listed on the stock exchange.

At the same time, a recent OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) survey showed women as top earners still earn an average of 17 percent less than men do. The OECD stated this suggests the existence of a so-called ‘glass ceiling’.

“An inclusive, equal, and safe Norway. A community of five million individuals - woven together into a nation of trust in each other,” the Prime Minister declared, underlining that this was on condition that everyone contributed honestly.

Women dying in childbirth in the world were a particularly central concern, said the Prime Minister, mentioning Norway’s work of giving essential medicine to them and children.

Norway remains the top country for mothers. It has doubled its Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI) funding too.

Bravery

Talking of global climate worries following the UN’s Climate Summit 2012 (COP18/CMP 8) in Doha, Qatar, Prime Minister Stoltenberg moved on to bullying.

Some 20 people received the Royal ‘Medal for Heroic Deeds’ for their heroism helping saving the lives of youths from Utøya.

“Every one of them who arrived and first [there] had to make their decision. It was about life and death. Other’s lives, their own life,” the Prime Minister highlighted. “They crossed the threshold of fear without a helmet and vest.  They saved lives with their own hands. To honour them is to honour the man's deep commitment to kindness.”

Prime Minister Stoltenberg also talked of 23-year-old Sami Eli Anne Nystad’s bravery last year, harassed by a gang of boys who tried to set her alight because of her ethnic origins. She was unharmed, and reported the gang to police.

“Instead of bowing her head, she confronted the bullies publically. Eli Anne turned personal humiliation into a stance against bullying,” he said.

15-year-old Juliane Asdal from Tromøy, southern Norway, started a popular Facebook “Stop it” anti-bullying group.

“I agree with Eli Anne and Juliane,” declared the Prime Minister, “nobody deserves to be bullied, and no-one shall be allowed to threaten others without consequences.”

He announced the government’s plan of putting a proposal before parliament in the spring to make Internet hate illegal.

“Thank you”

Prime Minister Stoltenberg remembered the bravery of 7-year-old boy Even Kvien from Salangen municipality, Troms County, too – who refused to succumb to a 2010 tent fire that inflicted terrible burn injuries to 90 percent of his body and won through the pain.

Tribute was also paid to the five Norwegian military personnel killed in the Hercules C-130J crash in Sweden’s Kebnekaise mountain range under operation ‘Cold Response’.

In closing, the Prime Minister thanked TRH King Harald V and Queen Sonja – who both turned 75 last year – for their continued role in representing Norway, as well as “all those out on duty this New Year’s weekend for looking out for us whilst we celebrate.”



Published on Tuesday, 1st January, 2013 at 21:59 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last updated on 1st January 2013 at 23:44.

This post has the following tags: norwayprimeminister, jensstoltenbergnewyear, utoya, utoeya.





  
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