Margunn Bjørnholt

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Margunn Bjørnholt
M Bjornholt.png
Born 9 October 1958
Bø, Telemark
Nationality Norwegian
Education cand.mag. (regional planning, 1981)
MA (international economics, 1982) (sociology, 1995)
Alma mater University of Tromsø, College of Europe, University of Oslo
Occupation Sociologist
Employer University of Oslo, Work Research Institute, National Institute of Technology, Regional Development Fund

Margunn Bjørnholt (born 9 October 1958 in Bø, Telemark) is a Norwegian sociologist, social psychologist, economist, men's studies scholar, a pracademic in the field of ethical banking, and a former civil servant and business consultant who has worked to promote female entrepreneurship.


She has studied public policy, contemporary history, regional planning, economics and European integration. She holds a cand.mag. degree in regional planning from the University of Tromsø (1981), an MA in international economics from the College of Europe in Bruges, Belgium (Promotion Johan Willem Beyen 1981–1982[1]) and a degree (i.e. US PhD equivalent) in economic sociology from the University of Oslo (1995), with a dissertation on microfinance, ethical and interest-free banking (Pengene mot strømmen).[2]

She has worked at the Regional Development Fund, at the National Institute of Technology, and as a partner in a consultancy, promoting regional development and entrepreneurship, with a particular emphasis on female entrepreneurship. She has later been a researcher at the Work Research Institute and the Department of Sociology and Human Geography, University of Oslo, and is now director of Policy and Social Research AS[3] and an associate member of the research group Rights, Individuals, Culture and Society at the University of Oslo Faculty of Law. She has been invited as a visiting scholar at Emory University School of Law (the Feminism and Legal Theory Project) in Atlanta (2012) and GEXcel Centre of Gender Excellence at Örebro University (2013),[4] and has served as a national expert on gender equality to the European Commission DG for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities.


She is an expert on work–family arrangements and gender equality, and, in particular, men's role and agency in social change towards more egalitarian work–family arrangements.[5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13] Other research fields include feminist legal theory, social justice, feminist economics, microfinance, ethical banking, public sector reform and management, qualitative research methods and cultural sociology.

In recent years her research has focused on fathers and sons, and she has carried out a follow-up study 30 years later of Erik Grønseth's pioneering, experimental gender equality research from the 1970s, which studied gendered patterns of breadwinning and care. The follow-up study, which was funded by the Ministry of Children and Family Affairs and the Research Council of Norway, has received much attention in Norway and abroad.[6][7][9][10][11] She is currently involved in a cross-national comparative study on work–life balance in Poland and Norway with a grant from the EEA and Norway Grants,[14] and in research on feminist legal theory and feminist economics.

Civic activities[edit]

She was involved in the ethical banking movement in the 1990s as chair of a working group attempting to start a bank in Norway modelled after JAK Members Bank in Sweden. She is chair of CINI (Child In Need India) Norway, has been Vice President (during Torild Skard's presidency) and acting President of the Norwegian Association for Women's Rights (since 2012), is a board member of the International Alliance of Women,[15] an INGO with general consultative status with UN ECOSOC, a board member of the Nordic Women's University, and was elected President of the Norwegian Women's Lobby in 2014.

She is a columnist for The Huffington Post[16] and is also a regular commentator in Norwegian media, inter alia on gender equality issues.

Selected publications[edit]


  1. ^ Dieter Mahncke, Léonce Bekemans, Robert Picht, eds. (1999). The College of Europe. Fifty Years of Service to Europe, College of Europe, Bruges, ISBN 9080498319
  2. ^ "Biography". Retrieved 15 April 2012. 
  3. ^ "Margunn Bjørnholt". Policy and Social Research. Retrieved 22 November 2012. 
  4. ^ "Margunn Bjørnholt". Emory University. Retrieved 15 April 2012. 
  5. ^ "Margunn Bjørnholt". Retrieved 15 April 2012. 
  6. ^ a b Anita Haslie (14 September 2010). "A Successful Work-Life Balance". Research Council of Norway Information Centre for Gender Research in Norway. Retrieved 15 April 2012. 
  7. ^ a b Belinda Luscombe (18 October 2010). "Week-On, Week-Off Parenting". TIME Magazine. Retrieved 15 April 2012. 
  8. ^ Belinda Luscombe (22 September 2010). "A Crazy 40-Year-Old Experiment Suggests Work-Life Balance Is Possible". TIME Healthland. Retrieved 15 April 2012. 
  9. ^ a b Johnny Gimmestad (3 October 2010). "Vekker oppsikt internasjonalt". Aftenposten. Retrieved 15 April 2012. 
  10. ^ a b Bosse Parbring (2011). "Delat föräldraskap, delad arbetstid". NIKK magasin (Nordic Gender Institute) 2011 (1). Retrieved 15 April 2012. 
  11. ^ a b Linn Stalsberg (2011). "En krympet likestillingsdebatt". Forskningsmagasinet Apollon (University of Oslo) 2011 (1). Retrieved 15 April 2012. 
  12. ^ Linn Hanssen (4 June 2006). "Likestilling er bra for kjærligheten". Dagbladet. Retrieved 15 April 2012. 
  13. ^ Beret Bråten (29 November 2005). "Delte arbeid ute og hjemme". Research Council of Norway Information Centre for Gender Research in Norway. Retrieved 15 April 2012. 
  14. ^ "EFFECT: Cross-national Polish–Norwegian project on work–life balance". Policy and Social Research. Retrieved 22 February 2014. 
  15. ^ Board, International Alliance of Women
  16. ^ "Margunn Bjørnholt". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 16 June 2012. 

External links[edit]