Oslo, 11 February 2023 (TDI): The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women concluded consideration in the tenth periodic report with the committee’s experts praising Norway’s efforts to close gender gaps in employment and education.

The delegation of Norway consisted of representatives from the Ministry of Culture and Equality; the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; the Ministry of Justice and Public Security; & the Ministry of Health and Care Services.

The Norwegian Directorate for Children, Youth, and Family Affairs; the Ministry of Education and Research; the Ministry of Climate and Environment; and the Permanent Mission of Norway to the United Nations Office in Geneva were also included.

The committee congratulated Norway on its efforts to address the gender gap, especially in employment and education.

Experts commended efforts to increase the representation of women in private companies, though the number of women on the boards of private companies in Norway is still low.

Committee experts inquired about the measures to encourage the representation of women in private companies. Similarly, questions were raised about the timeline for the planned amendment of rape legislation.

A large percentage of reports of rape were closed, and alleged perpetrators were acquitted. Why was this? Could the definition of rape within legislation be contributing to the low prosecution rate?

Dettmeijer-Vermeulen, a committee member stated concern about the lack of data on trafficking in Norway. Had a central system for recording cases of trafficking and a national referral mechanism been established?

What measures were in place to prevent the trafficking of women and girls through online channels, and to ensure the right to health for women who worked in prostitution?

Anette Trettebergstuen, Minister of Culture and Equality of Norway and head of the delegation, said that Norway ranked third on the Global Gender Gap Index.

To increase the representation of women on the board and management of private limited companies, the Government submitted for consultation a proposal that gender quota rules should apply to large private companies.

The delegation stated that concerning the cases of rape there was often a lack of witnesses and clear evidence. The Criminal Courts’ evidentiary requirements were strict, making prosecution of rape cases difficult.

Specialist Director, Ministry of Justice and Public Security, Jan Austad, said that the Criminal Law Commission proposed that the current provision on rape be replaced by a new consent-based provision.

The delegation analyzed the issue of trafficking and the number of victims and methods of estimating the total number of victims were being developed. Traffickers used online escort services, which the police mapped and used to identify victims of trafficking.

To mitigate this issue there is work in progress to set up a national referral mechanism. There was no national system for assisting immigrants who were victims of trafficking, but specialized services were developed to support specific groups targeted by traffickers.

In closing remarks, the delegation vowed that Norway is fully committed to preserving the rights of girls and women and is fully committed to implementing the rights set out in the Convention.

The Committee invited the country’s party to implement the committee’s concluding observations for the benefit of all women and girls in the country.

The Committee would issue the concluding observations on the report of Norway at the end of its eighty-fourth session on 24 February.