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Greenland (Kalaallit Nunaat) is a self-governing country within the Kingdom of Denmark .
Gender equality in Greenland is promoted through Greenland’s Gender Equality Council, gender equality legislation and the co-operation in the Nordic region. Greenland ranks highly in terms of political and administrative gender equality. Childcare policies and equal access to the public Education system encourage a high number of women in the labour market. However, inequality remains concerning violence against women and a significant wage gap between women and men CEDAW: Seventh Periodic Report by the Government of Denmark .
Legislative gender equality in Greenland is regulated in accordance with The Danish Constitutional Act and § 10 in the Act on the Greenland Home Rule, which determines that Greenlandic legislation must correspond with the international conventions ratified by Greenland including CEDAW . Two main acts focus on gender equality:
- Cabinet law no. 5 of May 20, 1998 on Greenland’s Gender Equality Council (revised 2003)
- Cabinet law no. 7 of April 11, 2003 on equality between women and men
The Greenlandic labour market is dominated by the fishing industry and a comprehensive public sector. Female participation in the labour market escalated with the introduction of the Greenland Home rule in 1979 (the Greenland Self Rule since 2009), which also marked a further development of the public education system.
On average women occupy approximately 45 percent of the jobs in the labour market Kön och makt i Norden. However, the labour market is characterised by typical female and male jobs, where the public sector provide jobs for almost twice as many women than men Kön och makt i Norden.
Top management and board’s work is still an area dominated by men. However, balance has improved, thus approx. 25 percent of board members in the business sector are women. 2011 government party Inuit Ataqatigiit introduced a bill proposing equal distribution of gender among board members appointed by the Self Rule. The bill proposal was passed by the parliament Oktober 4th 2011 Inatsisartut (Parliament).
The level of education in Greenland is low compared to the Nordic countries. This makes it difficult for women and men to choose freely in the labour market. However, the level of education has increased significantly during the last decades.
Today more women than men get an education in Greenland. Often Greenlandic students must travel to Denmark for higher educations, since The University of Greenland (Ilisimatusarfik) offers a limited variety of courses. Greenlandic citizens have free access to the education system in Denmark.
Greenlandic women were given the right to vote in 1948.
After the elections in the summer 2009 women held 11 out of 31 seats in the Greenlandic parliament Inatsisartut Inatsisartut . There are four women out of nine ministers in the Greenlandic government Naalakkersuisut: The Minister for Finances, The Minister for Fishery, Hunting and Agriculture, The Minister for Health and The Minister for Family, Culture, Church and Gender Equality Nanoq.
The Greenlandic 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 official regulations regarding the distribution of male and female candidates. Still, the biggest party in Greenland, Inuit Ataqatigiit, nominated an equal amount of male and female candidates at the election in 2009.