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'I'm against gender quotas': equality minister

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'I'm against gender quotas': equality minister
Solveig Horne - Håkon Mosvold Larsen / Scanpix NTB
13:29 CET+01:00
Norway's equality minister has declared that she is opposed to gender quotas or affirmative action designed at increasing equality for women in the workplace, although she stressed she would not seek to rewrite Norway's existing rules.
"Personally, I am against affirmative action," Solveig Horne (43), told Norway's VG newspaper in an interview. "I have more faith in employing women and men based on their expertise and ability, rather than resorting to a quota." 
 
Horne created a storm when she assumed office as Norway's Minister for Children and Equality, after a past comment of hers were unearthed in which she seemed to say that women could sometimes be partly to blame if they are raped. 
 
In the interview, Horne revealed that she had herself been the beneficiary of affirmative action, when she was first appointed as a Progress Party council member. 
 
"A man had to step aside so they could get a woman into the council, and it was me," she said. For many years I struggled with the question, "Am I here because I'm clever and capable, and because they needed my expertise, or am I here because they needed a woman? I wouldn't wish that feeling on anyone," 
 
She said that even if forgoing affirmative action meant it took longer to achieve gender equality in Norway, it was still the right approach. 
 
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