|Støre 'satisfied' with Foreign Ministry reform|
| [31.08.2007, 12:26am, Fri. GMT]|
|Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre is so far happy about the reform of the Norwegian Foreign Ministry, long rumoured to be gender biased, authoritarian, bullying and old-fashioned. But the Minister still has a long way to go when it comes to gender equality. |
Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre, who has spent two years reforming his Ministry, this week looked back at his work with satisfaction. Surveys have previously found what was termed a "culture of bullying" in the Ministry. Combined with unusually few women in the top jobs, the Ministry has regularly faced public criticism. Støre, aiming to improve the situation, this week told a meeting including all Ministry employees that reform is well underway.But the Minister still has a long way to go, especially when it comes to gender equality. While the number of female ambassadors has doubled since 2005, women still only occupy 26 percent of these posts.
"Too often we see Norwegian foreign delegations only consisting of men. This cannot continue," the Foreign Minister vowed. "We have to prove Norwegian gender equality in practice."
Mona Brøther of the Norwegian Civil Service Union has long welcomed Støre’s reform, and told newspaper Aftenposten that she thinks the Foreign Minister is "genuine" in his concern about the working conditions in the Ministry. She added however, that reforming the Ministry is a process that is not done overnight.
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