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The woman as problem and solution: Analysis of a gender equality initiative within the Swedish Rescue Services
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication. (Geomedia)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8528-1099
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Social and Psychological Studies.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5639-4836
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Social and Psychological Studies.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5409-4450
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Social and Psychological Studies.
2016 (English)In: NORA: Nordic Journal of Feminist and Gender Research, ISSN 0803-8740, E-ISSN 1502-394X, Vol. 24, no 2, 95-109 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim of this article is to study how problem definitions of gender equality affect the possible outcomes of gender equality initiatives. The Swedish Municipal Rescue Services were chosen as the empirical example because they offer a workplace where women are greatly under-represented despite years of gender equality efforts. The article analyses how reasoning around gender equality shapes and constructs problem formulations around gender and equality. This article contributes to the debate on the conditions of gender equality founded on gender equality definitions, and how this relates to the potential for change. The gender equality efforts within the Rescue Services are problematized based on Bacchi’s policy analysis model. We do so by analysing the applications attracted by a call for a gender equality initiative within the Municipal Rescue Services—A Fire Station for Everyone. The article argues that, to some extent, the problem definitions in this case undermine gender equality initiatives as they place women—whom they wish to recruit to the Rescue Services to make it more gender equal in a numerical sense—in a paradoxical position as both problem and solution. Nor do they problematize power issues. It is stated that the given problem descriptions do not leave a lot of room for change, but that the method used to analyse the problem descriptions can be an important tool for understanding why gender equality initiatives may struggle to achieve their intended objectives.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 24, no 2, 95-109 p.
Keyword [en]
Reform, working life, power, Swedish Rescue Services, policy analysis
National Category
Gender Studies
Research subject
Gender Studies; Human Geography; Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-42655DOI: 10.1080/08038740.2016.1165733ISI: 000382733300003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-42655DiVA: diva2:934657
Projects
GeRd - den genuskodade räddningstjänsten
Funder
Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency
Available from: 2016-06-09 Created: 2016-06-09 Last updated: 2016-11-02Bibliographically approved

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The full text will be freely available from 2017-12-08 12:00
Available from 2017-12-08 12:00

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Grip, LenaEngström, Lars-GunnarKrekula, ClaryKarlsson, Stefan
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Department of Geography, Media and CommunicationDepartment of Social and Psychological Studies
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