New research project: Equality in isolated labour markets (EQUIL)

From 1 October 2018 a new research project, financed by a grant from the Nordic Council of Ministers, is starting up within FREIA - Center for Gender Research.

The grant was applied for through NIKK (Nordic Information about Gender, www.nikk.no), which coordinates and exchanges information on gender equality efforts throughout the Nordic region. The project will be lead and coordinated by Helene Pristed Nielsen from FREIA, and involves participating researchers from the Faroe Islands and Greenland.

Focus in the project is on gender equality in isolated labour markets. According to ideals about gender equality, both men and women are presumed to take part in labour market activities and caring for the family, but we know very little about how such ideals are negotiated in areas with restricted employment opportunities. This project compares three relatively isolated areas in the Nordic region: Narsaq in South Greenland (pop. 1,600); Suðuroy in the Faroe Islands (pop. 4,600) and Læsø in Denmark (pop. 1,800). The project aims at understanding local strategies and gender roles among men and women living in relatively isolated areas in terms of making a living, maintaining ties to the local community, and potentially achieve gender equality. Findings are expected to differ substantially among the three locations due to different geographic realities as well as different historic, economic and demographic trajectories. Nevertheless, we expect to derive valuable new insights from the comparison, as knowledge gained from such research can contribute to planning of sustainable demographic and economic development, and deepen our understanding of the role of place in such developments.

Interviews and local workshops will be held in each location during winter and early spring, and a cross-Nordic workshop (in Tórshavn, Faroe Islands) on the topic is planned for May 2019. The grant is concurrent with researchers from FREIA and the University of the Faroe Islands having received a Nordplus Higher Education Teacher Mobility Grant covering the academic year 2018/2019. This entails that FREIA hopes to expand our existing collaboration both in teaching and research with the University of the Faroe Islands, as well as develop new collaboration with the University of Greenland/ Ilisimatusarfik.

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