Thursday, April 07, 2005

Norway - over the top and over the edge 

I do miss doing my "Euro-absurdities" round-ups (for the last one click here) and if blogging were my full-time job I would, but as it is, there are only so many hours in a day.

Still, once in a while,
a truly scary story comes out that just has to be quoted:

"Norway will shut companies that refuse to recruit at least 40 per cent women to their boards by 2007 under an unprecedented equality drive, a cabinet minister said.

" 'Companies have been dragging their feet. They really have to recruit more women,' Children and Family Affairs Minister Laila Daavoey said. 'In the very worst case, they will face closure'."
This made me laugh though:

"Norway's parliament told firms in 2002 to ensure at least 40 per cent of each sex in boardrooms by mid-2005."
But what if a firm just settles for the bare minimum of 40 per cent of each sex?

Seriously though, European economy is facing numerous challenges in the future and one would have thought that governments would not be able to afford to shut down otherwise successful firms for the "crime" of gender deficiency. It's not that the number of women on company boards is not increasing, but not at a fast enough pace for the critics. I'm all for more women in business but I fear that one day Europe will social engineer itself out of existence.

As an aside, Norway is not going to have a Muslim majority anytime soon (although
this interesting calculation , albeit by an avowed anti-Islamic site, predicts it might happen by around 2045, with the capital Oslo by 2020), but if Sharia* ever comes to Norway, or Holland (as Mark Steyn always speculates), northern Europeans might find themselves faced with a new law that shuts down companies with more than 0 per cent of women on their boards.

* Before someone accuses me of being illogical, Muslim majority of course need not and should not automatically translate into implementation of Sharia - although Europe hasn't so far been exactly successful at mitigating militancy and radicalism within its Muslim minority.

P.S. In unrelated Scandinavian news,
Swedish prisoners are on strike after having been denied their God-given right to weightlift in jail. One official justifies the authorities' decision: "We don't feel it is part of the mission that society has given us to create... over-sized muscle builders."


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