She was born in Sandnes as a daughter of Hans Aasland (1855–1901) and Hanna Marie Nielsen (1857–1957). She took the examen artium in 1916, enrolled at the Royal Frederick University and graduated with the cand.jur. degree in 1922. She worked for the district stipendiary magistrate in Alta for a short time, and then worked for the Norwegian National Women's Council from 1924 to 1931, as a prison inspector from 1931 to 1936 and labour inspector from 1936 to 1945. In 1945 she briefly served as the director of Bredtveit women's prison, which had been a concentration camp during World War II's occupation of Norway by Nazi Germany.
Later in 1945, when Gerhardsen's Second Cabinet assumed office, Aasland became a consultative minister in the Ministry of Social Affairs. She held this post until 1948, when she succeeded Sven Oftedal as Minister of Social Affairs. She was the first female head of a government ministry (Kirsten Hansteen had preceded Aasland as minister in 1945, but as consultative minister), and also the first female government minister belonging to the Labour Party. She was also a member of Oslo city council from 1945 to 1947.
Assessments of Aasland's accomplishments in the position have been mixed. According to historian and political scientist Trond Nordby she was a particularly weak government minister, as she was "not able to carry through anything" (this claim was built on interviews with Aasland's successors Rakel Seweriin and Gudmund Harlem).
After stepping down as government minister, Aasland worked as an assistant secretary in the Ministry of Social Affairs. She was also a board member of the Norwegian People's Aid. She died in August 1962 in Oslo.
- Norderval, Ingunn. "Aaslaug Aasland". In Helle, Knut. Norsk biografisk leksikon (in Norwegian). Oslo: Kunnskapsforlaget. Retrieved 16 January 2010.
- "Norwegian Councillors of State without Ministry". Government.no. Retrieved 16 January 2010.
- "Norwegian Ministry of Labour – Councillor of State". Government.no. Retrieved 16 January 2010.
- "Aaslaug Aasland" (in Norwegian). Storting.
- Nordby, Trond (1989). Karl Evang. En biografi (in Norwegian). Oslo: Aschehoug. pp. 167, 305. ISBN 82-03-16250-9.
- Henriksen, Petter, ed. (2007). "Aaslaug Aasland". Store norske leksikon (in Norwegian). Oslo: Kunnskapsforlaget. Retrieved 16 January 2010.
|Norwegian Minister of Social Affairs