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Successful showcasing of SUCCESS

The decision of the Norwegian Green Party leader Une Bastholm to step down, paved the way for a public debate about the core topic of SUCCESS: Political endurance of women.

Our PhD-student Ida-Elise Seppola Asplund decided to write a letter to the editor in Dagsavisen following Bastholm’s decision. Read the piece here:

Bastholm told the media that the reason for her sudden withdrawl as party leader was the struggle to juggle her role as MP, party leader, and a mother of two small children.

"I thought it was important to see this issue as part of a bigger picture, and emphasise that systematic factors might fuel women's exit from politics. I was also provoked by the potential future leader of the Greens saying that a lack of small children is a benefit", says Ida-Elise.

Ida-Elise argues in her article that Bastholm’s withdrawl sadly aligns with an overarching trend, where women seemingly have shorter political careers than men. As friends of the SUCCESS-project know, investigating the gender gap in political endurance – its size, causes and consequences – is the main goal of the project.

In her article, Ida-Elise goes on to suggest some reasons for the yet-to-be-documented gender gap in political endurance. One study from Sweden finds an increased burden on women related to child care , while a report from Amnesty shows that female parliamentarians experience more sexual harassment than their male counterparts (see references below).

Beyond Ida-Elise, also researchers Jon H. Fiva and Max-Emil M King at the Norwegian Business School (BI), contributed with interesting knowledge on Bastholm’s exit. They outlined in Aftenposten how female councillors who have children have a much lower probability of being elected on local level than men in the same situation (see reference below).

The salience of the topic also led Ida-Elise to the prestigious radio program “The Political Quarter" in NRK on Friday morning (26.08), where she was interviewed on political endurance of women, its causes and challenges. Her debut on the program was a great success (no pun intended).

"As a regular listener of the program, it was very fun to be a guest. It is also an excellent platform to showcase the project, and I hope this sparked an interest out there", says Ida-Elise.

Listen to the radio program again here: The SUCCESS group is looking forward to future debates on a topic which clearly is engaging to both the general public, politicans and the media.

Read more about the Amnesty report here: (

Read the Swedish study:


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