Siim, Birte, and Hege Skjeie. ‘Tracks, Intersections and Dead Ends: Multicultural Challenges to State Feminism in Denmark and Norway’. Ethnicities, vol. 8, no. 3, Sept. 2008, pp. 322–344.
This article discusses multicultural challenges to state feminism in Denmark and Norway, focusing both on similarities and differences in the two countries policy responses. In spite of important differences, we point towards similar problems and dilemmas in the public responses to multiculturalism and diversity among women connected to a state feminist agenda that in both countries has been rather one-sided in its conception of what women-friendliness may imply. The first part of the paper expands on institutional ‘tracks’: (Variations in) state feminist traditions, in religious traditions, and in the inclusion of organizations of civil society in political power. The second part explores the framing of the hijab as a political issue of ‘intersections’ of gender equality versus religious belongings. The third part investigates what we see as a ‘dead end’ in policy making to prevent violations of women’s rights; that is the general, age based, restrictions on family unification as a means to combat forced marriages. Finally, we emphasise the importance of participatory women-friendly politics that include all who are affected by political decisions.