Equality and Gender Equality in NATUREACH

Last changed: 26 February 2024
Rainbow over lake

Why Work with Gender Equality and Equal Opportunities?

We need to illuminate and challenge power dynamics and norms in society to create an inclusive community where everyone lives on equal terms and is accepted for their own identity and value. Everyone has equal rights and opportunities regardless of gender, gender identity or expression, ethnicity, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or age. It's crucial to actively counteract discrimination and promote equal rights and opportunities for all. We must take responsibility for creating a respectful and inclusive environment free from discrimination and harassment.

We need to reach out to our organizations and foster an inclusive culture. It's not about counting the number of men and women or percentages, nor is it about discussing gender equality, but rather about actively working with norms and inclusion.


Project resercher, Ann Dolling, former Vice Dean for the Faculty of Forest Sciences, SLU with responsibility for equality and equal opportunities, gives a lecture. Useful thoughts to keep in mind for the project and professional life!

Discrimination Laws in Sweden and Finland

Purpose: Both Finnish and Swedish discrimination legislation aims to promote equal opportunities and prevent discrimination in various areas of society, including employment, education, healthcare, and society at large.

Protected Grounds: The legislation prohibits discrimination based on gender, age, ethnicity, religion, disability, sexual orientation, and other similar grounds. Both legislations may also include additional protected grounds depending on the specific law and its scope of application.

Prohibition of Discrimination: There are general prohibitions against discrimination and harassment based on the protected grounds. Both direct and indirect discrimination are prohibited.

Duty to Act and Responsibility: Employers, educational institutions, authorities, and other actors have a duty to actively counteract discrimination and promote equality within their areas of operation.

Rights and Obligations for Individuals and Organizations: The legislation grants individuals the right not to be discriminated against and to have fair and just rights to defend themselves against discrimination. Organizations have obligations to comply with the legislation and take measures to prevent discrimination.

Supervisory Authorities and Dispute Resolution Mechanisms: Both Finland and Sweden have supervisory authorities and dispute resolution mechanisms that oversee compliance with discrimination legislation and handle complaints and disputes related to discrimination.

Positive Action and Measures to Promote Equal Opportunities: Both legislations may allow positive action and other measures to promote equal opportunities and counteract discrimination.

These common features reflect an overarching focus on promoting equal rights and opportunities for all and combating discrimination in society. Despite some differences in design and implementation, Finnish and Swedish discrimination legislation share many similarities and principles in their work for an inclusive and fair society.

What Does it Look Like for Us and What Should We Do?

In our project, which aims to create an inclusive natural environment for improved well-being, it's essential that we reflect on our own composition and how it affects our work. Why are primarily women involved in the project? Why do women focus on people's well-being while men work with IT technology? We need to consider whether this division is desirable and what we can do to include more men in health promotion work and more women in IT development.

We also need to explore how it feels not to fit into the norm: to be a man in a female-dominated industry or a woman in a male-dominated industry. Who holds power and interpretive precedence in these different collectives? How can cooperation between the two groups be improved? We also need to examine if one of our languages, Finnish or Swedish, is considered the norm and why this might be the case.

During our workshops, we will explore norms and power structures and discuss how we can be more inclusive, break power structures, and promote equal opportunities. Our first workshop began with a lecture. Subsequent workshops will focus on analyzing our structures and defining actions to promote equal opportunities in our project.