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Completed project

Evaluation of the parental leave scheme – gender equality effects

Project period December 2017 - October 2018
Project employer Barne- og likestillingsdepartementet
Project nr. 10285
Project leader Kjersti Misje Østbakken
En far som sjonglerer barn, jobb og fritid

Illustration: CORE – Centre for Research on Gender Equality.

Project Aim

The project evaluated the parental leave scheme and investigate whether the current scheme promotes gender equality.

Existing knowledge on gender equality effects of the parental leave scheme in Norway is largely based on families where fathers were entitled to a four-week fathers’ quota from 1993. This project analyzed the effects of an increase in the fathers’ quota to ten weeks from 2009 onwards.

Among other things, we investigated whether a more gender balanced  parental leave uptake promotes equality in the home and in the workplace in the short and medium term. Furthermore, we looked at the importance of flexible leave of absence for the equality between parents at home and abroad, and the significance of the fact that the father is alone with the child during the leave period

Project Approach

The project consisted of two parts, one quantitative and one qualitative part. The quantitative analyzes were the largest part of the project. Based on registry data, we evaluated the effects of the expansion of the fathers’ quota on gender equality in employment, and what work-related factors may explain a more balanced parental leave.

The qualitative part explored factors that affect parents' actual distribution and use of leave - in addition to experiences with the sharing of care and job responsibilities after parental leave. The analyzes were based on in-depth interviews with fathers who have used the entire fathers’ quota or more, as well as on depth interviews with fathers with a limited parental leave uptake, conducted in connection with a previous project.

The project was also part of CORE – Centre for Research on Gender Equality at the Institute for Social Research.


Østbakken, Kjersti Misje; Halrynjo, Sigtona & Kitterød, Ragni Hege(2018). Foreldrepermisjon og likestilling: Foreldrepengeordningens betydning for likestilling i arbeidslivet og hjemme. Rapport – Institutt for samfunnsforskning. 15.


Sigtona Halrynjo PhD Senior Resarch Fellow +47 481 21 698 Send e-mail
Ragni Hege Kitterød Dr. polit. Research Professor +47 950 50 375 Send e-mail
Kjersti Misje Østbakken PhD Research Director, Work and Welfare +47 991 62 556 Send e-mail
Tags: Working Life, Gender Equality
Published Jan. 17, 2018 9:39 AM - Last modified Jan. 25, 2019 10:29 AM