MAgyar NORvég KApcsolatok

Önkormányzati kapacitás-építés norvég-magyar együttműködéssel

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Exchange program of locally elected women: Hungarian Bük and Norwegian Steinkjer cooperation

In June 2014 Violetta Németh elected representative of Hungarian Bük city  visited the Norwegian Steinkjer and cooparted with Grete Bekken Mollan vice-Mayor of Steinkjer.

The report of the visit:

Name of the participant: Violetta Németh, representative of the local government in Bük

Date, location: 2-5 of June, 2014; Verdal and Steinkjer

Itinerary report

2nd of June:

Travelling by plane from Vienna to Oslo, then from Oslo to Trodheime, and lastly to Verdal by train. Occupying Hotel Verdan at 17:30.

3rd of June:

We have been in Steinkjer with Zsuzsa Rujp and Marit Voll, and visited the DMS Egge with Grete Bekken Mollan. This is a local institution for the elderly and for disabled or mental handicapped people to teach them how to become self-sufficient, and to make their life easier and less complicated. 5 fully-equipped apartments are created to host them with numerous devices, such as:

-          a huge touch-screen tablet containing their daily routine: it can be programmed individually

-          a new innovation in connection with fridges to indicate if the door stays open

-          a sensor around the bed which indicates if the patient would leave the bed during the night (for rambling, sleep-walker people)

-          an appliance connecting to the stove to indicate naked light

-          a gadget for metering medicine

It also shows that in Norway efforts are being made to approach an equal society. It can be said, that the population in Norway is also getting older and older and the average life expectancy is about 80-85 years. Luckily, most of the elderly do not refuse to prove the latest techniques and developments. Although usually not by themselves, they are forced to learn how to use tablets and smartphones to be able to keep the contact with their relatives or to remain up-to-date.

Then we met with Kristine Sevendsen, the regional secretary of LO.

LO is one of the most expansive labour organisations in Norway, involving 22 trade unions. Kristen Sevendsen told us how could her become the leader of the regional LO in Steinkjer. She should be an advantageous example for women. Thanks to her efforts and strength, moreover the social benefit, she could reach her goals, nevertheless she has been a single mother. LOs have also an important role in the relationship of employers and employees.

In Norway it is important to set up and maintain equality. To achieve this, women should also take part in the labour market and struggle for the equal conditions as men, such as, equal salary for the same work, much more workplaces for women, furthermore the possibility for women to get jobs, which are typically for men. Some of the jobs are mighty emasculated. There are researches to reveal its reason, what is more, forces to extinguish them.

After we had lunch, we met with Björn Arild Gram, the mayor of Steinkjer, Torunn Austheim, the notary of the town and Karsten Saugestad, the local personnel rapporteur in the city hall. It turned out that the proportion of genders between employers in the town hall is 50% of women and 50% of men. There are 9 other firms connecting to the town hall by owning different proportions, such as the local bath and spa or waste managing companies. We recognised the structure and institutions of the local government.

The personnel rapporteur informed us about a Labour Act of 1996, which protects employees from all kinds of discrimination. For example, it provides for mothers on maternity leave to get the same position after their halt.

Then we visited the golf club in Verdal. It was great to see that women also play golf with their husbands on weekdays.

4th of June:

Inspection of the Steinkjer-Besitad kindergarten’s training in the topic of equality:

There are two types of nursery schools in Norway: some kindergartens are running by the state, others are running by the local government.

With Grete we visited a private one which is established by the collaboration and money of parents, however nowadays the state also supports that. We could recognise the whole institution and we met with two male kindergarten teachers, a Norwegian one, who is still a student; and a Spanish one, who is now studying to be a professional teacher. The directorate of the nursery school wanted to employ some male teachers in the institution so sometimes they prefer them in contrary with experienced female teachers. It can be a useful pattern for local men and children, because there are many children bringing up by single mothers in the town, without any models of men.

Dampsaga swimming pool, spa and training centre:

I was interested in the facilities of the institution, which is also owned by the local government of the town.

Campus Steinkjer:

We met with Marna Ramsöy, the chairman of the equality committee of the local government. In Steinkjer there is a committee with 5 members dealing concretely with equality. For instance, they organise a celebration on Women’s Day every year on the 8th of March. During this occasion they honour a local woman who has struggled a lot for the possibilities of women in Steinkjer or the surrounding area. Last year Kristine Svendsen, the regional secretary of LO gained that prize. Gerd Thorshaug also works on the Campus, she is dealing with the equality of emigrants and foreigners, moreover with adult trainings. At the end, I have to mention the name of Björn Gunnar Eriksson, who has established and flourishes the local youth club on the Campus. He constantly keeps the contact with the local government and the (11-memebered) local student government in connection with the demands and problems of youth.

5th of June:

Travelling back to Bük.



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