I am a Norwegian woman with a long-term career within humanitarian assistance and development. I My particularly interest and commitment is to contribute to the realisation of Girls and Women’s Rights.
From my CV, I read that I have more than 30 years professional experience from international organisations within long-term development and humanitarian assistance,and another 10 years from Norwegian voluntary organisations, and Norwegian public institutions.
Out of my 23 years of living overseas, I spent nearly 20 years in the UN organisations like UNICEF, UNAIDS, UNDP and as UN Resident Coordinator in Namibia, and the remaining in Norwegian voluntary organisations like Save the Children Norway, and Norwegian People’s Aid. I have been fortunate to live in 9 countries on five continents over these years.
Prior to my international engagements, I worked in the Norwegian Consumer movement, both in the Norwegian Consumer Council and the State Research Institute for Consumer questions, and for some years as teacher in secondary and high school.
My major competences are found within leadership of innovation and change, nutrition, child and women’s rights and gender. I have long-term experience from work within social sectors in developing countries and leadership within the areas of nutrition, health and education, HIV/AIDS, social-and child protection. I have also got long experience from policy and strategy development, and humanitarian assistance coordination.
I have been a progressive feminist since the beginning of the 1970s when I was at university. I am very proud about having been active in the women’s rights movement during this period when it really “took off ” in Norway. I often speak my mind about women’s rights and gender issues, so be prepared to find some rather strong statements about women’s rights and the situation of women in Norway and abroad among my posts.
Fighting injustice and improving the situation of girls and women have always been my major focus areas. They are also the reason to establish this blog and my special leadership development programmes for women. See leadership programmes in the menu for more information. Although there is more than enough to focus on in Norway despite its “so-called” gender equal status in the world, there is even more at stake in developing countries. While women in Norway and other western countries have opportunities to influence their situation in most ways, realisation of Women’s Rights and gender equality are most often far fetched goals in developing countries.
Gender equality starts from birth and I am therefore committed to keep a focus on girls rights, especially in developing countries. This to ensure that they get a good start in life so that they can develop their full potentials and live a meaningful life in dignity as adult women. Girls often get very little attention and stimulation as girls in their own right, and easily become their mother’s servants and tail. With less support than their brothers from birth, they often do not attend school, being married off and/or being exploited as labourers and sex slaves. Unfortunately, many have already lost their dignity before they reach adulthood.
With knowledge and change of attitudes and behaviour, at all levels, I really believe it is possible to improve girls and women’s situation, enhance progress on all fronts and remove hindrances excluding girls and women from realising their full potentials as human beings. Through providing women with opportunities to develop their leadership potentials and enhance their capacities as change agents, there are great possibilities for positive and sustainable change in societies which will benefit new generations of girls and women and also the rest of the society.
As humanist and internationalist, I belive there is far more that glue us together across countries and continents, cultures and religions, than what divide us due to political, economical and religious reasons. I want to use my blog to focus on global and national issues affecting girls and women and provoke debate and dialogue about issues of common concern.
Now you know a little more about me, my background and values, attitudes and priorities, and why I am engaged in the fight for the realisation of Girls and Women’s Rights and gender equality.