• Norway's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Norwegian troops get unisex dorms

The Local · 24 Mar 2014, 12:01

Published: 24 Mar 2014 12:01 GMT+01:00

The new unisex dormitories have been trialled at a military base in northern Norway, with each room putting two women together with four men. 
 
According to Ulla-Britt Lilleaas, co-author of the report "The Army: the vanguard, rear guard and battlefield of equality”, the women reported that sharing a room helped make them "one of the boys". 
 
"To them there was nothing strange about the unisex rooms," she wrote. "They had entered a common mode where gender stereotypes had disappeared, or at least they were less obvious." 
 
One woman soldier, who had purchased especially large underwear to minimize her sex-appeal, was surprised to find that rather than accentuate gender differences, sharing a room helped make them less relevant. 
 
“You have to be a team here, and then you have to live together in order to be able to trust in one another”, said one of the women, who concluded the rooms were a “damn good idea”.
 
The move is the latest trail-blazing initiative from the Norwegian armed forces. In November, the forces announced that they would now serve soldiers vegetarian-only food one day a week in an effort to combat climate change.
 
Story continues below…
 
Lilleaas and her co-author Dag Ellingsen compared the unisex camp with another training centre for the Royal Norwegian Navy, where women and men have separate rooms. 
 
“It becomes us and them, boys against the girls," Ellingsen argued. “Another problem with girls’ rooms is that they in some cases fall outside the information flow. And they are often characterized by conflicts and cliques.”

The Local (news@thelocal.no)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Norway’s asylum figures ‘down 95 percent’
A child plays at the Bjørnebekk asylum centre in Ås. Photo: Heiko Junge / NTB scanpix

New figures reveal lowest asylum numbers in 19 years.

Google teams up with Norway’s largest wind park
File photo: Kjell Herskedal/NTB Scanpix

Google has agreed to purchase the entire output of the Tellenes wind power park in Rogaland, where construction is expected to be completed by the end of next year.

Norway’s royals apologize after old lady knocked over
The incident happened while King Harald and Queen Sonja were hiking in Bodø. Photo: Lise Åserud / NTB scanpix

The Royal Court has apologized for what witnesses say was "unnecessary and aggressive behaviour" that sent an elderly woman to the hospital.

Norway no longer world's best country: report
No longer number one, but still pretty darned good. Photo: Erik Johansen / NTB scanpix

Norway fell from first to seventh place in a new life quality report.

Brexit
Norway won't commit to UK joining EFTA
PM Erna Solberg was in Brussels on Tuesday to meet with other Conservative leaders. Photo: Johan Falnes / NTB scanpix

Prime Minister Erna Solberg said on Tuesday she has not concluded whether a British membership in the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) would be good for Norway.

Mass brawl breaks out at Norway asylum centre
The Forus asylum centre in Stavanger. Photo: Carina Johansen / NTB scanpix

A rejected asylum seeker was arrested early on Tuesday after a fight involving up to 20 people.

Brit held for throwing pie at Norway's equality minister
The woman accepted the court's judgement but denied having planned the pie attack. Photo: Erik Fosheim Brandsborg / NTB scanpix

A British woman will be held on remand for for weeks for attacking Norwegian Equality Minister Solveig Horne with a cream pie.

Brexit
Iceland president: Brexit is good news for Norway
Iceland president Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, shown here in 2008. Photo: Kyrre Lien/NTB Scanpix

Iceland's long-time president Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson says that Brexit can give Norway and other northern countries a more important role.

Oslo court rejects Edward Snowden lawsuit
Edward Snowden speaking via satellite as he received the Bjornson prize in September. Photo: Svein Ove Ekornesvåg / NTB scanpix

The Oslo District Court on Monday rejected American whistleblower Edward Snowden’s lawsuit to prevent his potential extradition.

Video
VIDEO: Norwegians set world record for largest bonfire
The bonfire was measured at 47.4 metres. Photo: Runar Andersen / NTB scanpix

See stunning video of the world's tallest bonfire going up in flames as Norway celebrated midsummer.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Norway's ‘biggest sovereignty concession’ to EU in years
National
Norway makes ‘biggest sovereignty concession’ to EU in years
Sponsored Article
Education abroad: How to find an international school
Norway boosts defence against Russia threat
International
Norway boosts defence against Russia threat
FACT-CHECK: No, Norway isn’t banning diesel and petrol cars
National
FACT-CHECK: No, Norway isn’t banning diesel and petrol cars – yet
Norway aims to be climate-neutral by 2030
National
Norway aims to be climate-neutral by 2030
Migrant numbers plunge as Norway now 'less attractive'
National
Migrant numbers plunge as Norway now 'less attractive'
Society
Record number of kids mark Norway's National Day
Take a ride on Norway's most spectacular road
Travel
Take a ride on Norway's most spectacular road
All 13 on board die in Norway helicopter crash
National
All 13 on board die in Norway helicopter crash
National
Norway violated mass murderer's human rights: court
Modern-day Norwegian Viking conquers Instagram
Lifestyle
Modern-day Norwegian Viking conquers Instagram
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Global protests condemn 'legal kidnapping' in Norway
National
Global protests condemn 'legal kidnapping' in Norway
Norway to allow gay church weddings
Society
Church of Norway to allow same-sex weddings
'No means no': Norway sends migrants on anti-rape courses
National
'No means no': Norway sends migrants on anti-rape courses
For first time, majority in Norway don’t believe in God
Society
For first time, majority in Norway don’t believe in God
Norway preps 'breakthrough' on gender change
Health
Norway preps 'breakthrough' on gender change
Breivik says he'll fight 'to the death' for Nazism
National
Breivik says he'll fight 'to the death' for Nazism
2,034
jobs available