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Denmark, like its Scandinavian neighbours, boasts an impressive record on gender equality, ranking 7th in the 2008 Global Gender Gap Report conducted by the World Economic Forum. Gender equality is enschrined in legislation affecting the public and private sectors and despite the absence of quotas, female political participation is above-average. Child-care policies and parity in education attainment encourage the high numbers of women in the labour market but a gender-disagregated market combined with ongoing discrimination results in a significant pay gap between men and women.
The Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI) measures gender-based discrimination in social norms, practices and laws across 160 countries. The SIGI comprises country profiles, a classification of countries and a database; it serves as a research, policy and advocacy tool for the development community and policy makers.
The SIGI covers five dimensions of discriminatory social institutions, spanning major socio-economic areas that affect women’s lives: discriminatory family code, restricted physical integrity, son bias, restricted resources and assets, and restricted civil liberties. The SIGI’s variables quantify discriminatory social institutions such as unequal inheritance rights, early marriage, violence against women, and unequal land and property rights.
In the Social Institutions and Gender Index 2014 Edition , Denmark was not classified in the SIGI due to lack of full dataset. It has lower discrimination in restricted access to resources and assets and higher discrimination in restricted civil liberties. Read the full country profile and access the data here: http://www.genderindex.org/country/denmark
The Danish Constitutional Act and the acts on gender equality are binding on both the public and the private sectors to ensure that gender equality is respected. Four main acts focusing on gender equality:
- Act on Equal Pay (2006, first introduced in 1973);
- Equal Treatment Act (2006);
- Act on Gender Equality (2002));
- Act on Equal Treatment of Women and Men in the Occupational Social Security Schemes (1998).
The Minister and Department for Gender Equality are responsible for promoting and coordinating public policy on gender equality. The present Minister for Gender Equality is also in charge of the office of Minister for Social Welfare.
Danish women have one of the highest employment rates among women in Europe and OECD countries at 70.8% per cent.However, the Danish Confederation of Trade Unions (Landsforeningen i Danmark, LO) and the Danish Employers’ Confederation (Dansk Arbejdsgiverforening, DA) published a joint analysis of male and female wages, which found that men’s wages are on average 14%-15% higher than those of women. Among white-collar workers, men’s wages are on average 19%-20% higher than those of women. The study finds that the most important cause of the wage gaps observed between men and women is the gender-segregated labour market.
The labour market is characterised by the existence of typical female and male jobs. On one hand there is an overweight of males in job within the area of building and construction and crafts and engineering trades. On the other hand there is an overweight of female in job within the area of service, social and health industries.
Over a period of 12 years the women’s share of newly enrolled PhD-students has increased from 36 per cent in 1994 to 47 per cent in 2006.
Women were given the right to vote in 1919. After the general elections in 2007, women held 70 out of 179 seats in the Folketing. Tthere are seven women out of 19 ministers. Women hold the posts of Minister for Justice; Minister for Social Welfare and Minister for Gender Equality; Minister for Development Cooperation; Minister for Food, Agriculture and Fisheries; Minister for Climate and Energy; Minister for Transport; Minister for Refugee, Immigration and Integration Affairs as well as Minister for Ecclesiastical Affairs.
The Danish Electoral Act does not include specific regulations aiming at ensuring women a certain proportion of the lists of candidates, and the political parties do not have regulations regarding the distribution of male and female candidates.The move to introduce quotas was deemed to be against the Danish Constitution.
- CEDAW, Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under article 18 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, Seventh periodic report of States parties. Denmark (2008)
- OECD, Babies and Bosses: Key Outcomes of Denmark compared to the OECD average (2007)
The Women, Business and the Law
Where are laws equal for men and women?
The Women, Business and the Law, 2012 presents indicators based on laws and regulations affecting women’s prospects as entrepreneurs and employees. Several of these indicators draw on the Gender Law Library, a collection of over 2,000 legal provisions impacting women’s economic status. This report does not seek to judge or rank countries, but to provide information to inform discussions about women’s economic rights. Women, Business and the Law provides data covering 6 areas: accessing institutions,using property, getting a job, providing incentives to work, building credit, and going to court. Read more about the methodology.
The FAO Gender and Land Rights Database
The FAO Gender and Land Rights Database contains country level information on social, economic, political and cultural issues related to the gender inequalities embedded in those rights. Disparity on land access is one of the major causes for social and gender inequalities in rural areas, and it jeopardizes, as a consequence, rural food security as well as the wellbeing of individuals and families.
The Database offers information on the 6 following Categories:
- National legal frame
- International treaties and conventions
- Customary law
- Land tenure and related Institutions
- Civil society organizations
- Selected Land Related Statistics