Norwegian MP advocates gender parity in Parliament


The Member of Parliament (MP) for the Rogaland County on the ticket of the Christian Democratic Party (Kristelig Folkeparti), Olaug Bollestad V, has advocated the need to achieve gender parity in the Norwegian Parliament.

That, to her, would help to strengthen women participation in the decision-making process both at the national and global levels.

Currently, the percentage of women MPs in the Norwegian Parliament is 40 as against 60 of their male counterparts.

More so, currently, the three most influential positions in the Norwegian government are all being occupied by women: Office of the Prime Minister, the Office of the Finance Minister and the Office of the Foreign Affairs Minister.

Speaking in an interview after a seminar with Communication Post-Graduate Students in Kristiansand City last Monday, she underscored the need to push for more women to be parliamentarians either to be at par with men or be even more than them.

Asked if she was riding on the mettle of feminism to score points on gender parity, she replied in the affirmative, explaining that women were not to compete with men but were to be equal in the participation of governance at the highest level.

Drive factor

She stated that she was pushed by the drive to serve people at all levels, especially those at the grassroot to help improve their living conditions.

She discarded the “family first” syndrome, saying that: “In Norway, there is nothing like family first and that no politician including me, would be in politics for money or seek favours for families and cronies.

There is no better ambition than to serve your people and press the button for the less privileged.”

Sexual harassment

On sexual harassment, she said, though every potential woman was likely to face sexual harassment in society, it behoved the female politician to manage her movements.

She admitted that women were most of the time weak in nature but urged those who were in politics to push forward, adding that while those yet to enter politics were warmly welcome.

She called on women politicians around the globe not to relent in their efforts to achieve gender parity in any area of development which they found themselves.

Olaug Bollestad, a nurse by profession, was Mayor of Gjesdal from 2007 to 2013 and had since October 2013 been MP for Rogaland County for the Kristelig Folkeparti.

She will continue to be the MP until 2021 (after she successfully maintained her seat in the September 2017 Parliamentary elections for a second term).

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