I want to congratulate all women on this occasion!
As a father of three daughters, I see how narrow gender roles affect play and future aspirations from an early point in life. Is it an insignificant problem, when I address my concern that the expectations of society could take away my daughters’ opportunities to live out their full potential?
The continued attacks on the «Daddy quota» and the laws ensuring legal rights to abortion are clear examples that the struggle is not won once and for all, not even in Norway. The pay gap between men and women and the violence directed at women are examples of issues where we still have a long way to go, even in Norway.
Still, there’s no doubt that the women’s and workers’ movements have made great progress, when we compare our conditions to those of women in other parts of the world. It is ironic that the forces who at every crossroads have fought progress in our country today criticize the women’s movement of being myopic. When the criticism comes at the same time as development funds for projects targeting women’s living conditions are being cut, their arguments are preposterous and hollow.
Let us use this day to struggle for women’s right to be independent and free, whether in the work place or in private life, whether their struggle is fought for their own sake or in solidarity with others. Congratulations and forward to new progress!