|Minister of Children and Equality|
16 October 2013
|Prime Minister||Erna Solberg|
|Preceded by||Inga Marte Thorkildsen|
12 January 1969 |
|Political party||Progress Party|
Solveig Horne (born 12 January 1969 in Haugesund) is a Norwegian politician for the Progress Party and has been Minister of Children and Equality since 16 October 2013 as a part of the cabinet of prime minister Erna Solberg.
Prior to her tenure as Minister, she was elected to the Norwegian Parliament from Rogaland during the election in 2005, being re-elected for two consecutive terms in 2009 and 2013 respectively. She had previously served in the position of deputy representative during the term 2001–2005. Originally trained as a butcher, she has been an elected official since 1995.
Early life and education
Born 12 January 1969 in Haugesund, Rogaland, Horne is the daughter of automobile mechanic Jon Tormod Horne (1942-) and his wife Ingebjørg Marie(née Stødle, born 1942) a registered nurse. She was brought up in the nearby municipality of Etne in the Sunnhordland region as the older of five sisters.
Horne attended elementary -and high school at Enge barne- og ungdomsskole in Etne between 1976 and 1985. After graduating lower secondary school, she moved out from her parents and into a small student apartment in Sandnes in order to attend upper secondary school.
She attended two upper secondary schools (Norwegian: Videregående skole), specializing in vocational education. From 1985 to 1987 she enrolled in Gand Upper Secondary School in Sandnes, while her senior year in 1988 was spent at Hinna Upper Secondary School in nearby Stavanger. After graduating from high school, she began an intern-ship with a local sales cooperative. In 1990 she was officially certified as a butcher, and occupation she held for six years until 1996, when she switched to full-time politics.
Active in politics since the mid 90's, Horne was elected member of the executive committee of Sola municipality council during the Norwegian local elections, 1995 at the age of 26. She later described how she was elected to her first position due to affirmative action, saying that a male candidate was passed over due to the fact that the party needed to meet a female representative in order to achieve gender balance. This made her question her competency, and since then she has been a staunch opponent of affirmative action. From 1999 to 2005 she was also an elected member of Rogaland county council. And from 2001 she was a deputy representative in the Storting.
Member of the Storting
During the 2005 general election the Progress Party achieved its most successful result ever, gaining 12 seats in the Norwegian parliament, The Storting and becoming the second largest party. In Rogaland the Progress Party became the largest party and swept into parliament both Horne and Ketil Solvik-Olsen who would both become ministers in the same cabinet eight years later. Upon her election to the Storting, she served as a member of the Standing Committee on Justice.
She was again re-elected during the 2009 parliamentary election, which again saw unprecedented gains for the Progress Party. During her second term she served as a member of the Standing Committee on Family and Cultural Affairs. She was subsequently re-elected in the 2013 election, however in the aftermath of the election she was appointed Minister of Children and Equality in the cabinet of Prime Minister Erna Solberg.
Minister of Children and Equality
On 16 October 2013, following the fall of the Red-Green Coalition and the election of the Conservative-led Blue-Blue coalition, Horne was appointed as Minister of Children of Equality, replacing Inga Marte Thorkildsen from the Socialist Left Party. After her appointment, she outlined an agenda focusing on a reduction in the government-set quotas for paternity leave as well as an increase in the so-called "Cash-benefit" (Norwegian: kontantstøtte) in order to allow parents to keep children home instead of kindergarten.
She also announced a shift away from her predecessors family policy, she announced that she would focus on strengthening and protection of the family as well as reducing divorce rates. She explained: "Protection of the family has previously been a low priority, this is something we will now strengthen. She called for the introduction of the American custom of having a "date night" once a week in order to cultivate the marriage. She stated the importance of finding pockets of time where "parents can be just lovers again".
Even before her appointment was official, she was accused of having anti-gay views due to a tweet she wrote in 2010. In the tweet, she questioned: "Is it okay that kindergartens read gay fairy-tales for young children?" (Norwegian: Er det helt greit at barnehagene leser homoeventyr for små barn?). The tweet came in response to a news story in which the government had supported the production and distribution of a manual that aimed to "expand the child's sexual identity" and incorporate sexual diversity in the education of two-, three-and four-year-olds.
Horne met her first husband, Steinar Kolnes, after moving to Sandnes at the age of 16. She married him in 1987 at the age of 18. They divorced in 2003. Together they have two children, son Jon Oddvar (born 1990) and daughter Elisabeth. Upon her divorce she chose to retain her maiden name. She has resided in the district of Jæren since moving to Sandnes at the age of 16, she now divides her time between Oslo and her home in Sola.
Horne is a Christian, and along with 16 of the 18 cabinet ministers, she is a member of the Church of Norway. She describes growing up in a religious household in Etne, a community of both meeting houses, and Gospel Halls in addition to the official church, as well as attending Sunday school where her father was a teacher for over 30 years.
About the importance of her faith, she herself states: "In a busy life, it is not so easy to have "close contact" with God, but I think that being able to send some thoughts Upwards occasionally, both in good as well as in difficult times, is a strength, knowing that there is always someone who loves me and who is always there, even if you do not feel and know it."
- Rognsvåg, Silje. "Makt i første akt". Dagen. Retrieved 3 June 2014.
- Amundsen, Ingeborg. "- Jeg ble kvotert inn i politikken. Jeg unner ingen den følelsen.". VG. Retrieved 3 June 2014.
- Løkeland, Espen. "Solveig Horne: Jeg er en hverdagsfeminist". Dagsavisen. Retrieved 4 June 2014.
- "Solveig Horne vil ha Date Night". Retrieved 4 June 2014.
- "Vil ha date-kveld i norske familier". Dagen. Retrieved 4 June 2014.
- "Horne vil ha date-kveld i norske familier". VG. Retrieved 4 June 2014.
- Lilleås, Heidi. "- Det er et av skjelettene Erna frykter". Nettavisen.no. Retrieved 4 June 2014.
- "Familienes nye tjener". Dagen. Retrieved 4 June 2014.
- Berge, Jørgen. "Ba om hjelp til å redde ekteskapet". Retrieved 4 June 2014.
- Amundsen, Ingeborg. "Familieminister Solveig Horne om ekteskapet: - Jeg har ikke lyktes". VG. Retrieved 3 June 2014.
- "Solveig Horne" (in Norwegian). Stortinget.no.
- Interview in Nordic Labour Journal: Solveig Horne, minister with a blue-blue view of Norwegian integration
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