Gender researchers in different countries have a lot to learn from each other, says Jo Krøjer, researcher at Roskilde University. Krøjer is the coordinator of the conference Voices in Nordic Gender Research scheduled for 5-7 November.
‘Our goal is for the conference to offer many exciting discussions and new meetings,’ she says.
Can you tell us more about which themes will be discussed at the conference?
‘We’ll focus on seven themes, all of which are described on the conference website. We are for example going to have round-table discussions on structural racism and Nordic identity. The biggest theme, in terms of the number of papers received, is The Gain and Pain. Life in Welfare Societies. Here researchers are going to discuss the feminist progress made in the Nordic region, but also the price we have paid for it.’
What do you mean when you say that the feminist progress has come at price?
‘We see for example that women’s ability to participate in the labour market has improved thanks to the positive developments within child and elderly care in recent decades. Now we can ask ourselves whether the development in the welfare institutions in the last few years, with economic and structural changes, has put the wellbeing of children and old people at risk. The salaries and working conditions are not always good at these institutions, so the price is also paid by those who work there.’
Why do we need a Nordic gender research conference?
‘Since the countries are fairly similar, the research results in one country are meaningful also for the other countries. We need to get better at seeing what researchers in the other countries are doing. We are to some degree focusing on different things. For example, Sweden has come a long way within gender equality research, while the Danish research has a strong focus on the development of methods.’
Who will be at the conference?
‘150 people have registered. Most of them are researchers but there will also be some practitioners. All Nordic countries, except Greenland, will be represented and we will also have guests from the Baltic States, South Africa, Australia and the U.S. The participation will be broader than expected although some countries are underrepresented. Finland is one example. We hope the conference will be a recurring event, and that Finland can host it next year. That would make it easier for Finnish researchers to participate.’
What effects do you hope the conference will have?
‘This is NORA’s first Nordic gender research conference, but we hope there will be many more! We hope the participants will meet researchers and practitioners who they haven’t had the opportunity to talk to before. Maybe the conference will lead to more Nordic research projects being launched in the future. This is of course only something we can wish for, but at least the conference increases the chances for cooperation.’
This is an article about one of the projects granted funding through the Nordic Gender Equality Fund.