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Projects (Gender Equality)

Women with immigrant background in the labour market

Schedule: February 2015-september 2015
Employer: Norges forskningsråd

Project Background

Women with immigrant background face several challenges in the transition to the labor market. It is therefore important to gather knowledge about the factors that constrain or promote their labor market participation.

This report focuses on existing research from Norway and the Nordic region and looks at the measures and efforts to include women with immigrant background in the labor market. Furthermore the report analyzes whether the existing efforts and measures work. The report concludes by presenting several recommendations for further research.

Further information:

Researchers: Julia Orupabo, Ida Drange

Fathers’ use of the father’s quota and parental benefit

Schedule: September 2016-December 2016
Employer: Barne- og likestillingsdepartementet

Project Aim

In the project we investigate the characteristics of fathers who do not make use of the entire father’s quota in the parental leave scheme in Norway, why these fathers do not make use of the entire father’s quota, and what would make them use more of it.

Project Approach

The project has three parts:

1. A literature review or previous research on these topics in Norway

2. Empirical analyses based on Norwegian registry data of the proportion and characteristics of fathers who do not use the entire father’s quota

3. In depth interviews with fathers who have note used the entire fathers’ quota

Hate speech and hate crime on the Internet

Schedule: February 2016-November 2016
Employer: Justis -og beredskapsdepartementet


The project consists of three parts:

  1. Contributing to knowledge about the prevalence of hate speech online. This was achieved through an international literature review and new analyses of data from several relevant surveys conducted by ISF. 
  2. A legal discussion about the relationship between freedom of speech and the protection from hate speech.
  3. A small case study of the police’s work against hate speech online.
Researchers: Marjan Nadim, Audun Fladmoe, Jon Wessel-Aas

Gender differences in occupational- and sectoral labour mobility in Norway

Schedule: 2015-2017
Employer: Arbeids- og sosialdepartementet



Project Purpose

The purpose of the project is to examine the degree of gender segregation in the Norwegian labour market since the beginning of the 1990s. 

Project Approach

The project is fourfold: First, to map and examine trends in labour mobility between occupations, industries and sectors, and to identify occupations and educations with high turnover.

Secondly, to quantify and get insight into the contribution from i) changes in labour demand and ii) labour supply.

Thirdly, the project will shed light on trends in gender segregations over the lifecycle.

Fourth, map and systematize scientific research in Europe, focusing on the Nordic countries.

In addition we will perform comparative empirical analysis on the labour mobility patterns in Europe.  The main contribution of this project is to measure developments in gender segregation in the labour market and in the educational sector, over a long period of time. To our knowledge, the latter exercise for the first time.

Pathways to Integration: The Second Generation in Education and Work in Norway

Schedule: 2015-2018
Employer: Norges forskningsråd

Project Aim

What pathways to integration characterise the transition from education to work among descendants of immigrants in Norway? Are they socially isolated and incorporated into marginalized sectors of the economy? Or are their achievements in education translated into relevant work and prominent positions in social life, contributing to a ‘remaking’ of mainstream society, in which ethnic background will play a less significant role in determining individual life chances in the future?

In this project, an interdisciplinary team of sociologists, economists and anthropologists will use both quantitative and qualitative data to explore the dynamics of generational change, focusing on the pathways to integration experienced by male and female descendants of immigrants in Norway.

Project Approach

The project has four closely related subprojects. First, we will investigate whether the immigrant parents’ success or failure in the Norwegian labour market affect the labour market integration of the second generation.

Second, we will study the extent to which descendants of immigrants’ efforts in the educational sector is transferred into relevant work, and how family obligations and transnational marriages affect employment patterns of second generation men and women.

Third, we will explore whether an elite of descendants of immigrants is in the making, by conducting comprehensive qualitative case studies among students in medicine, law and economics, as well as among lawyers, doctors and economists that have managed to gain positions in the labour market. Fourth, we will study descendants of immigrants enrolled in vocational education, following 1) those who invest in more education, 2) those who end up working in vocational professions, and 3) those who are tracked into less privileged positions or even into permanent positions outside the labour market. The project will provide new and highly policy-relevant knowledge about the processes of integration and ultimately on the long-term effects of migration on the Norwegian society.

The third subproject is part of an ongoing, comparative study of elite formation among descendants of immigrants in the Netherlands, Germany, France, Italy, Sweden and the US. This project, ELITES: Pathways to Success, is led by Professor Maurice Crul at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam. Professor Crul is also part of the Norwegian project’s international advisory board, along with Professor Richard Alba from the Graduate Centre at the City University of New York and Dr. Katharine Charsley from the University of Bristol.

Further information:

Family policies: Fathers’ quota, sharing of parental leave among mothers and fathers and cash-for-childcare.

Schedule: 2015-2016
Employer: Barne-, likestillings- og inkluderingsdepartementet

Project Purpose

The purpose of the project was to review existing research on paternity leave, effects of mothers' and fathers’ sharing of parental leave and the use of cash-for-childcare. Every year a large amount of money is transferred to parents of young children through these schemes. The design of the schemes affects parents' adaptation at the intersection of labour force participation and childcare.

Project Results

The Ministry for Children, Equality and Social Inclusion wanted a review of existing research on family policy transmission schemes. The project has reviewed the existing research on the impacts of the various family policy schemes and assessed the strengths and limitations of research from Norway and other Nordic countries, published in 2010-2015. Knowledge gaps and unanswered research questions were also identified. 

The state of freedom of speech in Norway 2015-2017

Schedule: April 2015-may 2017
Employer: Fritt Ord



Project Background

This study is a continuation of a broader project called The state of freedom of speech in Norway – the Freedom of expression foundation’s monitor project, which was carried out by Institute for Social Research (ISF), in cooperation with IMK, FAFO, TNS Gallup and lawyer Jon Wessel-Aas, in 2013-2014.

In the first round of the project, we addressed the issue of freedom of speech from a variety of perspectives, focusing on the preconditions of freedom of speech, freedom of speech in light of multiculturalism, digitalization and shifting media structures, security, control and surveillance and the terms of freedom of speech in the labour market. In this second round of the project we will explore more in depth the dynamics of public debate, focusing on the key actors in defining public discussions and well as on the normative processes regulating which opinions and ‘voices’ are expressed in the public and which are silenced.

Project Approach

The project has three parts: First, we will investigate whether Norwegian journalists and the general Norwegian public’s attitudes toward freedom of speech have changed in light of the terror attacks in Paris and Copenhagen in 2015.  Second, we will study the development in media discussions about religion, migration and freedom of speech in the period from the cartoon debate in 2006 to today, paying particular attention to the opinions expressed by editors and journalists. Third, we will focus on three groups that are particularly exposed to critique and harassment in public debates; politicians, ethnic and religious minorities and right-wing opponents of migration and Islam.

The project is conducted in cooperation with Professor Terje Rasmussen and Dr. Terje Colbjørnsen at the University of Oslo and Professor Hallvard Moe at the University of Bergen.

Media Coverage

Video: From the conference "The Fate of Freedom of Expression in Liberal Democracies", Kari Steen-Johnsen, October 2015, Foundation for Individual Rights in Education

Researchers: Arnfinn H. Midtbøen, Kari Steen-Johnsen, Bernard Enjolras, Kjersti Thorbjørnsrud, Audun Fladmoe, Synne Sætrang, Terje Rasmussen, Terje Colbjørnsen, Hallvard Moe, Karoline Ihlebæk, Ingrid Endresen Thorseth, Marjan Nadim

Domestic violence in families of majority and minority background: Similarity and difference

Schedule: 2014-2019
Employer: Justis- og beredskapsdepartementet

The project is one of nine projects in The Domestic Violence Research Program which is a five year program at Norwegian Social Research – NOVA at Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences, financed by the Ministry of Justice and Public Security. For more information about the program, see here.

This project will study similarities and differences between domestic violence in ethnic minority and majority families, with a special focus on so called honour based violence. The analysis will primarily be based on existing data and data collected in other parts of the program, including survey data, qualitative interviews and legal documents.

Researchers: Anja Bredal

A process evaluation of the Karin model pilot, a coordinated approach to victims of domestic violence

Schedule: 2014-2019
Employer: Justis- og beredskapsdepartementet

This is a process evaluation of a pilot project at Stovner police station in Oslo aiming at more coordinated services toward victims of violence in close relations. A Norwegian version of the Swedish so called Karin-model will consist of police personnel including domestic violence analysts and investigators as well as social service personnel. The overall aim is to offer better, more holistic and coordinated services to adult female and male victims of interpersonal violence. The study will be based on survey data and qualitative interviews.

It is one of nine projects in The Domestic Violence Research Program which is a five year program at Norwegian Social Research – NOVA at Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences, financed by the Ministry of Justice and Public Security. For more information about the Research Program, see here.  

Researchers: Anja Bredal

Domestic violence: The changing role of NGOs

Schedule: 2014-2019
Employer: Justis- og beredskapsdepartementet

Violence in close relations has to an increasing extent become a responsibility of public authorities and agencies. This project studies the changing roles of NGOs in this policy and service area. The project is one of nine projects in The Domestic Violence Research Program which is a five year program at Norwegian Social Research – NOVA at Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences, financed by the Ministry of Justice and Public Security. More information about the Reserach Program, see here

Researchers: Anja Bredal

Gender Wage Gap and Gender Care Gap

Schedule: 01.02.2015-31.12.2015
Employer: EEEA Grants v/ Universitetet i Valencia

The main objective of the project is to analyse, both statistically and discursively, the gender wage gap and the relationship between the gender wage gap and the gender care gap in different types of welfare state models, namely the Mediterranean model (Spain), the Continental model (Germany) the Anglo-Saxon model (UK) and the Nordic model (Norway and Iceland). Both quantitative and qualitative data will be used. The quantitative analyses will be based on harmonized surveys such as the Wage Structure Survey, European Survey on Income and Living conditions and the Harmonized European Time use Survey, which can all be accessed from Eurostat. Qualitative individual and group interviews will be carried out among dual-earner couples and key informants in businesses, at workplaces and in unions in Spain, Norway and Iceland.

The main project team is made up of researchers from the Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology at the University of Valencia (Capitolina Díaz and Carles Simó as co-directors, Andrea Hernandez, T. Aguado Empar), who collaborate with two small teams of the department of Applied Economic and the department of Economic Analysis (Josep Banyuls, Josep Vicent Pitxer, Ernest Cano, Salvador Mendez, Marcela JABBAZ, M. Luisa Molto, Nevis Economy Lazarus, Rosario Sanchez) from the same university. The Icelandic and Norwegian teams are led by Professor Gudbjörg Linda Rafnsdóttir, University of Iceland, and senior researcher Ragni Hege Kitterød, Institute for Social Research.

Researchers: Ragni Hege Kitterød

Women to Top Management

Schedule: Desember 2014 -juni 2015
Employer: Norsk styreinstitutt/Innovasjon Norge
Researchers: Sigtona Halrynjo, Marit Eline Lervik Christensen

Changing familes and the gender revolution (FAMGEN)

Schedule: 2015-2018
Employer: Arbeids- og sosialdepartementet

The point of departure for the project is three profound changes sweeping across modern societies: women surpassing men in higher education, growing female labour force participation and more involved men in the family. This gender revolution influences the family formation process and is moving at different paces across countries, which calls for comparative research on the interplay between gender roles and the family formation process.

The project has a strong international profile and we apply an analytical approach where the family formation process involves different components: (A) union formation, (B) couple specialization, and (C) childbearing. This novel approach takes into account that the family formation process contains several components that influence each other: who enters unions and who partner with whom influence couple specialization and the relative economic position of men and women, which in turn influence childbearing, which may very well in return influence couple specialization. Union formation patterns are also expected to influence childbearing directly. We argue that it is necessary to include the union formation process in analyses of couple specialization and childbearing because it determines the socioeconomic correlates of selection into unions, as well as how socioeconomic characteristics affect choice of union.  While several theoretical frameworks have been developed to understand the interplay of new gender roles and family behaviour at the societal level, there is need for more theories to better understand the mechanisms at the individual level.

Register data will be used for the in-depth analyses of Norway, while survey data will be used for the comparative analyses.

Researchers: Ragni Hege Kitterød, Rannveig Vittersø Kaldager, Trude Lappegård, Kenneth Aarskaug Wiik, Lars Dommermuth, Rønsen Marit

Between equality and efficiency: Work incentives, social redistribution and gender equality in the reformed pension system

Schedule: 2015-2017
Employer: Arbeids- og administrasjonsdepartementet , NFR/EVAPEN

The aim of the project is to conduct and empirical investigation of the implications of the reformed pension system for benefit adequacy, social redistribution and gender equality while taking account also of the incentive structure provided by the new system of pension accrual.

The project is carried out in collaboration between Institute for social research (ISF) and Statistics Norway (SSB). The project is organised in three modules: The first module (A) comprises studies of the incentive structure created by the new system of pension accrual as well as its possible effects on labour supply using available up-to-date register data for the adult Norwegian population (FD-trygd). In the second module (B) we use the dynamic micro-simulation model (MOSART) developed by Statistics Norway to gain new insights into the distributive implications of the reformed system in a diachronic lifetime perspective. The sub-studies of the this module include analyses of the intra-cohort distribution of pension benefits, the impact of family sensitive benefit components on the distribution of household disposable income, and how the redistribution life-time income achieved by the pension system is modified by social inequalities in life-expectancy. The third module (C) uses in depth qualitative interviews and web-based surveys to study the way individuals and couples relate to the new system of pension accrual both in terms of its perceived fairness, its expected adequacy, and its motivational effect on labour supply. We focus in particular on the mixture of what we call 'family sensitive benefit components' in the reformed system: credits for child rearing, bequest of pension rights between married spouses, and differentiation of minimum benefits between singles and couples.

Gender Segregation in the Labour Market

Schedule: 2014-2018
Employer: Norges forskningsråd

Project background

This research project will investigate the ways in which women and men are unequally placed in the labour market. We will study the mechanisms that contribute to different educational choices among boys and girls, and what happens in the transition from education to work. Once men and women have entered the labour market, there are processes at play that contribute further to gender gaps in career development and wages. We will study how different welfare state arrangements affect these developments through comparing Norway with other countries.

Project structure

The research project consists of four main parts.

1) International comparisons across several countries, in order to investigate how different institutional contexts affect the extent to which men and women are  unequally distributed in the labour market.

2) Comparisons of female career patterns in the United States and Norway, with particular focus on access to top positions, recruitment policies and decision making within the household.

3) Boys' and girls' educational choices and performance, attitudes towards female- or male typical study programs, and consequences for labour market entry in Norway.

4) Mechanisms that channel men and women into different positions within the Norwegian labour market over the life course.

We will be using different kinds of data sources. Some questions will be answered by using available large scale survey data, some by using data from Norwegian public registries that follow the population over many years, and some by collecting new data through case studies and questionnaires.

The project team consists of researchers from the Institute for Social Research in collaboration with the University of Oslo and the Oslo and Akershus College of Applied Sciences. For the international comparisons we will collaborate with researchers at Boston University, Wellesley College, UC San Diego and the University of Basel.

Further project information and list of publications can be found in Prosjektbanken.

This project is connected to CORE - Center for Research on Gender Equality.

Further information (in Norwegian):

Researchers: Liza Reisel, Pål Schøne, Erling Barth, Mari Teigen, Anne Lise Ellingsæter, Inés Hardoy, Kjersti Misje Østbakken, Sigtona Halrynjo, Ragni Hege Kitterød, Kristinn Hegna, Christian Imdorf, Mary Blair-Loy, Claudia Olivetti, Sari Pekkala Kerr

Institutional Change in Democratic Society

Schedule: 2012-2015
Employer: NFR

A joint project by Department of Sociology and Human Geography, University of Oslo, Institute for Social Research, and Fafo Institute for Labour and Social Research.

How are modern societies constituted? Dominant in sociological theory are either abstract “top down” perspectives, or arbitrary labels such as “risk society” or “post-modern society”. The present project chooses instead a bottom up approach in order to describe how large social formations are linked together. Thereby the focus on institutions becomes crucial. In order to avoid excessive generality, three limitations are made: (i) Mechanisms and patterns of institutional change are highlighted, (ii) a limited set of institutions are studied, (iii) democracy is regarded as constitutive in all parts of modern society. Empirically, the emphasis is put on societies of the Scandinavian type, but with clear comparative ambitions. Being societies where the state is simultaneously strong and liberal makes these societies a special case in relationship to basic assumptions in the international literature.

The project falls in three parts: Part A discusses normative theory of democracy, and theory of institutional change. Part B engages with changes in the public sphere. Part C concerns institutional change in working life and the welfare state, and what characterizes Scandinavia, in comparison with Continental Europe and the Anglo-American world.

The state of freedom of speech in Norway – the Freedom of expression foundation’s monitor project.

Schedule: 2013-2014
Employer: Fritt Ord



Project Background

The Institute for Social Research managed the project together with the Department of Media and Communication (IMK) at the University of Oslo, Fafo, TNS Gallup and lawyer Jon Wessel-Aas to investigate the state of freedom of speech in Norway. The Institute for Social Research managed the project on assignment by the Fritt Ord Foundation.

The project addressed issues concerning the terms of freedom of speech, freedom of speech in light of multiculturalism, digitalization and shifting media structures, security, control and surveillance and the terms of freedom of speech in the labour market.

Project Results

The study is based on both qualitative and quantitative approaches, with a central element being a survey targeted at both the general public and at groups of particular interest to freedom of speech: Ethnic minorities, journalists and cultural workers.

In addition to several research reports, the project was conveyed through multiple platforms, with important arenas being a series of seminars and a webpage (

Researchers: Karoline Ihlebæk, Terje Rasmussen, Liv Hausken, Elisabeth Staksrud, Sissel Trygstad, Jon Rogstad, Roar Hind, Cecilie Kløvstad, Jon Wessel-Aas, Arnfinn H. Midtbøen, Bernard Enjolras

CORE - Centre for Research on Gender Equality

Schedule: 2013-
Employer: Barne-, likestillings- og inkluderingsdepartementet


CORE – Centre for Research on Gender Equality, at Institute for Social Research, conducts interdisciplinary research on gender equality, with particular emphasis on working life. The research centre aims to produce research of both high academic quality, and social and political relevance.

CORE was established in 2013 and is funded by the Ministry of Children and Equality. Mari Teigen is Research Director at CORE.

Visit the webpage for CORE – Centre for Research on Gender Equality for more information.

Multidimensional equality - Legislative reforms and judicial practices

Schedule: 2009-2013
Employer: Norges forskningsråd

Nordisk likestillingspolitikk er inne i en større omlegging. Det innebærer en endring fra et dominerende endimensjonalt rammeverk, basert på kjønnslikestilling, til en flerdimensjonal likestillingspolitikk. Det felles grunnlaget for disse store endringsprosessene er forståelser av flerfoldige diskrimineringsgrunnlag, altså at anti-diskrimineringslovgivningen og håndheving utgjør sentrale politiske styringsverktøy for å fremme likhet.

Prosjektet tar sikte på å framskaffe kunnskap om variasjon og endring i Nordisk likestillingslovgivning, samt å studere disse endringer i lys av hvordan initiativ for å fremme mangfold og forhindre diskriminering på flere grunnlag er debattert, fortolket, begrunnet og problematisert av politiske partier og sivilsamfunnsaktører i Norge, Sverige og Danmark. Sentrale forskningsspørsmål som vil bli belyst er:

  • Er bekjempelse av diskriminering innenfor rammene av en interseksjonell tilnærming vektlagt som et viktig motiv bak juridiske reformer og endring?
  • Hva innebærer en interseksjonell tilnærming for etablerte kjønnslikestillingsparadigmer?
  • Hvordan håndteres utfordringene fra multippel diskriminering og interseksjonalitet i praksis av håndhevingsorganer?
  • Hvilke roller spiller og hvilke posisjoner inntar sivilsamfunnsaktører og organisasjoner i utviklingen av disse juridiske reformene?
  • Utvikles reformene innenfor et rammeverk av gjensidig forståelse eller av konkurrerende interesser?

Disse spørsmålene vil danne utgangspunkt for tre tett sammenkoblete empiriske studier om variasjon og endring i nordisk likestillingslovgivning; om likestillingsparadigmer i de politiske prosessene som ligger til grunn for juridisk reform; og om flerdimensjonalitet og interseksjonalitet i juridisk praksis.


Researchers: Mari Teigen, Liza Reisel, Sigtona Halrynjo, Merel Jonker