Women and Adversity
21st Century Women
Former Prime Minister of Norway
With Christmas a few days away, I wanted to feature the female political leader who lives in the country closest to the North Pole. The answer is complicated because it depends on how you measure the distance from the North Pole. Canada is the closest by coastline since it extends right up to the North Pole. Greenland is the closest by travel time because a flight takes only three hours. However, by longitude Russia is closest with 168 degrees east. Let’s do latitude. Ah, ha! Bingo! Norway is closest, measuring 71 degrees north. Norway is on the western and northernmost section of the Scandinavian Peninsula. It is considered the most developed democracy in the world and has about 5.3 million people.
It happens that Erna Solberg was Prime Minister of Norway from 2013 until 2021. She is listed as a “power woman” comparable to Angela Merkel, the former Chancellor of Germany. Solberg continues to stay in the political realm as leader of the Conservative Party, a post she’s held since 2004. She is an advocate for women’s and children’s rights and female education. She co-wrote an opinion piece in 2014 in which she states, “If you invest in a girl, she feeds herself, educates future children, lifts up her community and propels her nation forward – charting a path that offers dignity for all in the process.”
Born February 24, 1961 in Bergen, Norway
Nickname: Iron Erna
Is said to have been treated for dyslexia
1986 – Graduated from University of Bergen with a master’s degree in sociology, political science, statistics and economics
1979-1983 and again 1987-1989 – deputy member of Bergen city council
1989 – present – elected to Norwegian Parliament
2001-2005 – minister of local government and regional development
2004 -present – leader of the Conservative Party
2013 – elected Prime Minister
2017 – reelected Prime Minister
2016 – co-chair of the United Nations Secretary General’s advocacy group for Sustainable Development Goals
Married to Sindre Finnes since 1996
Two children: daughter, Ingrid; son, Erik
2021 – admitted she broke the COVID rules for having 13 people at her 60th birthday party. Ten was the limit.
Learn more about Erna Solberg:
www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-03302-4 (Solberg writes, “Ocean science can boost jobs and wellbeing”)
Norway’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg Fined for Birthday Party in Violation of COVID Rules (newsweek.com)
Former PM Solberg has a truly outstanding leadership career & even more–a champion for women and children.