Norwegian Association for Women's Rights
|Formation||28 June 1884|
|Karin M. Bruzelius|
|Affiliations||International Alliance of Women, Norwegian Women's Lobby, Forum for Women and Development|
The Norwegian Association for Women's Rights (Norwegian: Norsk Kvinnesaksforening, NKF) is a Norwegian nonpartisan political advocacy organisation and Norway's oldest and preeminent women's rights organisation. It was founded in 1884 by 171 prominent men and women, including five Norwegian Prime Ministers. Its basic principle is that full and equal enjoyment of human rights is due to all women and girls, and it works to advance women's social, economic and political situation in Norway as well as internationally. Historically associated with the Liberal Party, the NKF is today broadly representative of the political spectrum. The association has successfully campaigned for women’s right to education, the right to vote, the right to work and the establishment of what is now the Gender Equality and Anti-Discrimination Ombud, and currently focuses on the implementation of the CEDAW convention. The current President is sociologist Margunn Bjørnholt and the current Vice President is former supreme court justice Karin M. Bruzelius. The NKF is a member of the International Alliance of Women (IAW), which has general consultative status to the United Nations Economic and Social Council and participatory status with the Council of Europe, and is represented in the IAW board. The NKF is also a member of the Norwegian Women's Lobby and the Forum for Women and Development. Its former leaders include Liberal Party leader and cabinet minister Eva Kolstad and UNICEF chairman Torild Skard.
The organisation was founded in 1884 by 171 prominent Norwegians, led by Dagbladet's first editor-in-chief, liberal Member of Parliament and Mayor of Oslo Hagbart Berner and the liberal politician and women's rights pioneer Gina Krog, who became its first President and Vice President. From its establishment and well into the 20th century, the organisation was strongly associated with the Liberal Party; its 171 founders included several Norwegian Prime Ministers, leaders of the Liberal Party and many liberal Members of Parliament as well as the editors of the large liberal newspapers and public figures such as novelist Alexander Kielland. Three of the first Presidents of the organisation, Anna Stang, Randi Blehr and Fredrikke Marie Qvam, were all wives of Norwegian Prime Ministers. Membership has always been open to both men and women and in the early years several men were members of the board of directors.
Among the important causes that the NKF has campaigned for are women's suffrage (achieved in 1913), the right to work (in the 1930s), abolishment of the common taxing for spouses (the 1950s), right to equal schooling (the 1960s), the establishment of the Council for Equality between the Sexes (Norwegian: Likestillingsrådet) 1972, later replaced by the Centre for Equality between the Sexes (1977), later by the Equality and Anti-Discrimination Ombud (2006). Members of the organization, such as its long-time chairman Eva Kolstad, who served on the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, also pioneered United Nations gender equality policies.
The association also initiated the establishment of the Norwegian Women's Public Health Association (Norwegian: Norske Kvinners Sanitetsforening), a humanitarian organisation, which grew to become Norway's largest women's organisation with around 250,000 members at one point. Historically, the NKF was the most important association of the Norwegian bourgeois (or liberal) women's movement (associated chiefly with the Liberal Party), in contrast to the labour women's movement (associated with the Labour Party). Today, it is a nonpartisan organisation, focusing on women's political, legal and human rights as well as equal opportunities, and on the implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women in particular.
The NKF has co-operated with the National Association for Women's Suffrage and later with the Norwegian National Women's Council. Some of the prominent post-war leaders were Eva Kolstad, who later became a cabinet minister, leader of the Liberal Party and the world's first Gender Equality Ombud, Karin M. Bruzelius, who became a supreme court justice, and former UNICEF Chairman Torild Skard.
The Norwegian Association for Women's Rights has been affiliated with the International Alliance of Women (IAW) since 1904 and is a member of the Norwegian Women's Lobby and the Forum for Women and Development. It addresses the United Nations Economic and Social Council through its IAW membership.
The organisation had its offices in Sehesteds gate 1 in Oslo for many years, and now has its offices in Majorstuveien 39 in Majorstuen in central Oslo.
Other notable members
Gina Krog Prize
Since 2009, the association has awarded the Gina Krog Prize, named after its co-founder and first Vice President Gina Krog.
The prize has been awarded to
- Historians Ida Blom, Gro Hagemann, Elisabeth Lønnå, Aslaug Moksnes and Elisabeth Aasen (2009)
- Filmmaker Anja Breien (2010)
- Tove Smaadahl (2012)
- Kirsti Kolle Grøndahl (2014)
- Camilla Collett 1884
- Aasta Hansteen 1904
- Aadel Lampe 1926
- Dorothea Schjoldager
- Fredrikke Mørck 1934
- Katti Anker Møller 1939
- Margarete Bonnevie
- Eva Kolstad
- Ebba Haslund 1995
- Berit Ås 2009
- Torild Skard 2014
- Aslaug Moksnes. Likestilling eller særstilling? Norsk kvinnesaksforening 1884-1913, Gyldendal Norsk Forlag, 1984, 296 pages, ISBN 82-05-15356-6
- Elisabeth Lønnå: Stolthet og kvinnekamp: Norsk kvinnesaksforenings historie fra 1913, Gyldendal Norsk Forlag, 1996, 341 pages, ISBN 8205244952