Norwegian woman

Cycle: Masks
Norway is one of the best gender-balanced countries in the world. Almost equal numbers of male and female MPs sit in parliament and women earn an average of 87.9% of men’s wages in 2021.

Technique: Oil on canvas

Dimensions: 42x32cm, 16.5x12.5


How did Norway achieve such equality? The origins go back to 1839 when Norwegian authorities granted single women the right to trade independently. This was a huge change for unmarried women, whose numbers increased by 42% percent between 1801 and 1835. 

Between 1880 and 1900, a new feminist movement develops. Single women are admitted to university, and started to publish their books. They begin to take part in public debate, organize themselves into unions and associations.

In 1913, Norway became the first independent country in the world to introduce suffrage for women, on the same terms as men.

The crown of the bride from the painting, according to tradition, is handed down in the family from generation to generation. The bride wears it for marriage ceremonie instead of the popular veil. 

In contrast to cultures with a strong patrialchar coloration, Norwegian crowns are less ornate. They are customarily made of beads or silver plates. They do not have gold elements that are very popular in cultures that deprive women of subjectivity. 

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