New Policy Brief on "Breaking Down Barriers for Norway’s Deployment of Military Women"


16 April 2021

New Policy Brief on
Norwegian soldiers loading cargo into Hercules C-130J at Gao airport in Mali. The pciture is taken in February 2021. Photo: Onar Digernes Aase / Forsvaret

​​"Despite international and national commitments to increase the number of female soldiers participating in peacekeeping missions, the Norwegian Armed Forces deploy relatively few women to United Nations peacekeeping operations each year. This brief presents data on Norway’s inclusion of women in the military and in international deployments and describes a methodology that can map the relative importance of different barriers to women’s participation. This will allow for evidence-based policy recommendations that can contribute to the Norwegian Armed Forces’ ongoing efforts in advancing equal opportunities and the Women, Peace, and Security Agenda."

The Norwegian Armed Forces first opened its doors to women in 1976. Since then, it has been reported that over 200 different measures have been implemented to increase the proportion of women in the military. Yet, despite these substantial efforts, Norway consistently ranks below its NATO allies when it comes to women's inclusion.

Internationally, Norway deploys only a few women to peacekeeping missions every year. Because of these low deployment rates, Norway has failed to live up to both its own National Action Plan targets, and international commitments to deploy more female personnel to peacekeeping missions. With Norway serving in the Security Council in 2021, this topic becomes an issue of international credibility. 

Nora Kristine Stai and Ida Rødningen are Research Assistants at PRIO. Louise Olsson and Andreas Tollefsen are Senior Researchers and Project Leaders at PRIO.