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CEDAW and the Nordic Gender Equality Model

Conference contribution
Authors Eva-Maria Svensson
Published in Law and Society in the 21st Century, University of Oslo, 10-12 June 2015
Publication year 2015
Published at Department of Law
Language en
Subject categories Law


The Nordic model of gender equality is based on and uses both politics and law as tools in achieving the goal. The combination of the usage of these tools in a context of a general equality redistributive and public welfare system has been successful when compared with other countries in the world. CEDAW as an important normative benchmark has not been a driving force in this process, at least not until recently. The gender equality project started earlier than CEDAW came into force and the women-centred focus differs from the relational gender equality-focus on men and women in the Nordic countries. At least might the reluctance toward referring to and using CEDAW in the Nordic countries politics and legal sphere, especially in Sweden, be explained with the diverging focus. However, CEDAW could be used more as a tool for legal scholars, not only in Norway where CEDAW seems to be referred to more than in the other Nordic countries. CEDAW demands far-reaching obligations for the States parties. And the Committee connected to CEDAW as well as NGOs such as (e.g. in Sweden) Kvinnolobbyn do criticise the Nordic countries in several aspects, for example when it comes to eliminating gender stereotypes in the media. In this paper the expectations on and measures taken (or not taken) by the Nordic states concerning gender stereotypes in the media will be scrutinized. The expectations and measures will also be considered in a context of what is highlighted by the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE). The presentation will bring the reflections (earlier presented in the two articles Freedom of expression vs. Gender equality – conflicting values when regulating gender stereotypes in advertising, Eva-Maria Svensson and Maria Edström, Tidsskrift for Rettsvitenskap, 127 ( 5/2014 ) s. 479–511; and Gender Equality in the Swedish Welfare State, Eva-Maria Svensson and Åsa Gunnarsson, feminists@law, 2 ( 1 (2012) ) s. 27), further, based on CEDAW and the Nordic research concerning gender stereotypes. What legal strategies are used/preferable/possible when it comes to eliminating gender stereotypes in the Media?

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