Norway judged in EFTA Court

28.01.2003
The EFTA Court does not agree that Norway and the University of Oslo can continue to reserve posts exclusively for women and holds that Norway has failed to fulfil its obligations under articles 7 and 70 on equal treatment for men and women regarding employment. the Court holds that by maintaining in force a rule which permits the reservation of a number of academic posts exclusively for members of the under-represented gender, Norway has failed to fulfil its obligations under Articles 7 and 70 of the EEA Agreement and Articles 2(1), 2(4) and 3(1) of Directive 76/207/EEC of 9 February on the implementation of the principle of equal treatment for men and women as regards access to employment, vocational training and promotion, and working conditions as referred to in point 18 of Annex XVIII to the EEA Agreement.
The EFTA Court does not agree that Norway and the University of Oslo can continue to reserve posts exclusively for women and holds that Norway has failed to fulfil its obligations under articles 7 and 70 on equal treatment for men and women regarding employment.

-I am pleased with the judgement. I hope it will contribute to make the university and politicians focus more on discrimination as a problem instead of only looking at the statistics, says Dag Øistein Endsjø, who, together with five other PhD candidates at the University of Oslo complained to the Likestillingsombud (equal rights commissioner) in 2000. The Likestillingsombud did not agree, and the complaint was sent to the EFTA Surveillance Authority.

Norway‘s Minister of Education and Research, Kristin Clemet, is not pleased with the judgement:
-It was not very surprising that the EFTA Court would be opposed to reserved posts for women. However, we will continue to ask universities and colleges to hire more women in positions like this. It will however be more likely to happen through mentoring and other initiatives, Kristin Clemet says.
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