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Gender equality as a ’closed case’ in the Danish parliament Drude Dahlerup, Professor of Political Science at Stockholm University and DSSB, Roskilde University

Recently, the Danish minister for gender equality admitted that gender equality has not been progressing in Denmark during the last decade, and, I would add, not during the last two decades. We may talk about a reform stop and a stagnation in the debate on gender equality in Denmark, compared to e.g. the other Nordic countries. Based on my survey among members of the Danish parliament (Folketinget) on perceptions and engagement in gender equality policy – the first parliamentary survey of this kind in Denmark – a new discourse is identified, supported by a large minority that includes all of the male MPs from the four right-wing political parties (de borgerlige partier). According to this discourse, gender equality has ‘already been achieved’ or ‘has gone too far’.  Since there is a long tradition for consensus decision in Folketinget over gender equality reforms, this discourse may provide clues to the puzzle of the stagnation in gender equality reforms in spite of the general support for ‘gender equality’. According to the official ‘Denmark Canon’, gender equality is one of the 10 most important ‘Danish values’, however, apparently only for the natives. The survey also shows the amount of female and male MPs, who are willing to identify as ‘feminists’. (This investigation is part of the GRIP-project: Gender Regimes in Politics; på dansk ’Det danske ligestillingspolitiske regime – kontinuitet og brud’, which also includes a population survey).