At a recent conference on men’s roles in society, Norwegian Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik urged men to take on roles and responsibilities that have traditionally been deemed “feminine.”
Bondevik stated that men need to take greater responsibility for housework and child-rearing, and should take jobs in nurturing, care-giving fields typically dominated by women. “Times have changed. Chores in the home must be divided up better — both the duties and the joys,” said Bondevik.
Reuters news service noted that Bondevik sometimes symbolizes his rejection of typical masculinity through dress. The PM minister has on several occasions been photographed wearing a tie decorated with teddy bears.
Norway has made a great deal of progress toward gender equity. Women compose just under 1/2 of Bondevik’s cabinet, and benefits including maternity or paternity leave of up to a year, and government pay for childrearing.