Deconstructing Structural Inequality: Gender Equality in Reindeer Herding Sámi Communities

Introduction

The project establishes a network of scholars from Greenland, Finland, Norway, Russia, and Sweden. Its primary aim is to explore structural gender inequalities that apply to the Sámi people in general and reindeer-herding Sámi in particular. The project intends to collect and gather existing knowledge on structures causing gender disparities. In this context, one of the goals of the project is also to explore the framework of human rights applicable to Sámi women as it relates to the principle of non-discrimination on the basis of gender.

Background

To a large extent, the reason behind inequality lies in social structures. Structural gender inequality refers to conditions embedded in societal structure as well as in the institutionalized concept of gender differences. The project concentrates on the kind of structural inequality, which specifically refers to inequalities that are systematically rooted in the normal operations of dominant societal institutions and in their policies and regulations. Often the reasons behind inequality are hidden in the structures and difficult to grasp. Therefore, it is vital to bring exiting knowledge together and create a holistic understanding of the complex structures in order to deconstruct structural inequality. In this context, the particular focus of this project is the reindeer-herding Sámi community.

Objectives

  1. Establishing a network of scholars (both Sámi and non-Sámi) having knowledge on Sámi issues.
  2. Collecting existing knowledge embodied in academic literatures as well as in policy and regulatory documents on societal and institutional structures causing gender inequality.
  3. Stimulating dialogues and discussions, and promoting understanding on structural gender inequalities.
  4. Exploring how structural gender inequalities affect Sámi women’s access to reindeer herding practices, and the enjoyment of human rights.
  5. Preparing a set of policy recommendations to promote gender equality in the reindeer-herding Sámi communities.

Implementation

  1. A kick-off meeting with key project partners from Finland, Norway and Sweden to plan the overall implementation of the project.
  2. The project will identify and select a list of scholars (both Sámi and non-Sámi) having knowledge on Sámi issues, as well as a number of relevant stakeholders, who will be invited to project workshops to be organized.
  3. Three workshops in three countries – Finland, Norway and Sweden – will be organized during the project period, where the objectives of the project will be implemented.
  4. At the end of the project, a set of policy recommendations will be produced by the key project partners on the basis of dialogues shared by the participants in the workshops.

Main outcomes

  • A set of policy recommendations in order to promote gender equality
    Policy recommendations will be published on the project website as part of the final report

Project host

Project partners

Project duration

  • December 2018 – November 2020 (24 months)

Funding agency

  • The Nordic Council of Ministers’ (NCM) Gender Equality Fund (NIKK)
  • Fund granted: 450,000.00 DKK

Project administration & contact

  • Kamrul Hossain (PI), Research Professor and Director of NIEM (firstname.lastname@ulapland.fi)
  • Assi Harkoma (Project Coordinator), NIEM (firstname.lastname@ulapland.fi)


Map of partners and research area: Deconstructing Structural Inequality: Gender Equality in Reindeer Herding Sámi Communities
More information

Dr. Kamrul Hossain
Associate Professor / Director
Northern Institute for Environmental and Minority Law
Arctic Centre, University of Lapland
tel. +358 40 484 4281
email: kamrul.hossain (at) ulapland.fi

Researcher Assi Harkoma
Northern Institute for Environmental and Minority Law
Arctic Centre, University of Lapland
tel. 
+358 40 484 4159
emaiL assi.harkoma (at) ulapland.fi

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