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„Færar konur“: frá mæðrahyggju til nýfrjálshyggju – hugmyndir um opinbera þátttöku kvenna 1900-2010.

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Kvenréttindakonur hafa frá upphafi barist fyrir kvenréttindum á tvenns konar forsendum. Annars vegar hafa þær beitt hugmyndum um „jafnræði“ eða að þær séu jafnar körlum t.d. að hæfileikum og getu. Á hinn bóginn hafa þær notað rök sem snúast um „sérstöðu“ þeirra og sérstakt samfélagslegt hlutverk og séreiginleika. Á tímabilinu sem hér er til skoðunar toguðust þessar forsendur á og leiddu til hugmyndalegrar þverstæðu sem reynst hefur illleysanleg. Bornar eru saman hugmyndir um opinbera þátttöku kvenna frá fyrstu áratugum 20. aldar til byrjunar þeirrar 21. Sjónum er beint að þátttöku kvenna í opinberu lífi, í opinberum nefndum, ráðum og stjórnum, og á vinnumarkaði. Rannsóknin sýnir m.a. að eftir að borgaralegum réttindum var náð var farið að túlka jafnræðisrökin svo að þau hefðu í för með sér mismunun gagnvart körlum, enda hefði formlegu jafnrétti kynjanna verið náð. Þá er það meginniðurstaða að í umræðunni um opinbera þátttöku kvenna hafi skilgreining á „hæfni“ ekki tekið mið af eiginleikum sem teljast kvenlegir.
“CAPABLE WOMEN”: From maternalism to neo-liberalism — ideas on female roles in public in Iceland, 1900–2010 From the beginning, women’s rights activists have based their arguments both on female „equality“ and on female „difference“ or uniqueness. Thus their discussion has described women and femininity as being a common part of all humanity and yet at the same time special, owing to different social functions or characteristics. During the entire period under study, i.e. from the first decades of the 20th century to the start of the 21st, these conflicting aspects have led to a paradox that has proved difficult to resolve. This study compares thoughts on the public roles of women throughout this period. The focus is on their participation in public life, including government committees, boards and councils as well as the job market. A few of the landmarks noted here were the parliamentary resolution presented in 1927 by Iceland’s first female parliamentarian, Ingibjörg H. Bjarnason, on the appointment of government committees; the bill on women’s rights presented in 1948 by Hannibal Valdimarsson, a union leader and parliamentarian; the 1981 proposal by parliamentarian Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir to clarify the focus of the 1976 Gender Equality Act; the later revisions of that Act in 1985 and 2000; and, finally, the 2010 introduction of gender quotas on the boards of companies. According to the study, discussions on the roles of women in public relied on definitions of ability which failed to include qualities considered feminine. In the decades since women achieved citizens’ rights, arguments for equality have acquired a new understanding, as legislation and special measures to improve the lot of women started to be interpreted as discrimination against men. Because gender equality had become official on paper, the actual facts of female participation in the public arena were felt to have little significance. This view has reigned in social discussions and has been repeatedly directed against measures intended to benefit women in particular. The concepts of female difference have however re-emerged briefly. In Iceland, they were re-awakened through the Women’s List party of the 1980s and also following the financial collapse of 2008, when opinions were voiced that the collapse might be traced to the prevalence of male values.