As it’s International Women’s Day I’d thought I’d talk about whether living in Scandinavia is better for women? Also, a big happy birthday to my sister who is a strong representative for the day she was born (that’s her in the picture above). With reports emerging showing yet again that Scandinavian countries like Sweden and Denmark rank high when it comes to giving women and men equal legal work rights a lot of people ask: “Are these countries truly better to live in? Especially for women?”
In recent years the world has fallen in love with Scandinavia. Watching our TV shows, buying our designs and embracing our food. Even taking on our words with the use of ‘hygge’, ‘lagom’ and apparently now ‘pyt’ is making its presence known. The question is, is living in Scandinavia better for women? Or is it enough to simply handpick elements to have a truly happy and balanced life?
Like anywhere there are pros and cons to a country or region. I have my personal reasons for relocating from Copenhagen to London. I love my new home for embracing its multicultural heritage, the creative possibilities here and where we live has a lot to offer families. I’d love to see better support for single parents, mothers wishing to return to work either full or part-time after having children and I think the UK could embrace the Swedish working hours which are now officially six a day. On the other hand, I feel especially Copenhagen could learn openness from places like Berlin and London. Greeting strangers with a smile. The city has on several occasions been criticised for its lack of service-mindedness. Unless alcohol is involved most keep to themselves.
IS LIVING IN SCANDINAVIA BETTER FOR WOMEN?
Back in 2016 Grazia Magazine interviewed a handful of young Scandinavian women and a few who had moved to these countries from the UK. They questioned if it’s truly better to live in Norway, Sweden and Denmark as a female.
Where nature with its clean beaches, beautiful forests and mountain tracks (in Norway and Sweden) are often highlighted as positives and the Scandinavians being renowned for their love of the outdoors and it’s obvious health benefits, what else make these countries special?
The welfare systems in the Nordic countries are highlighted as some of the best in the world. With free education and healthcare, generous benefits and a year’s paid maternity leave included. I can see why especially young women with families find it attractive. These countries are definitely better when it comes to encouraging and helping woman back into the workplace after having children, too. Yet it’s also a system geared towards most being employed rather than self-employed. I love being my own boss. Setting my own hours which has allowed me to spend much precious time with Caspian.
WOULD I MOVE BACK TO DENMARK?
One should never say never and with the uncertainty of Brexit looming who can really predict what will happen. Yet, this year I’ve lived in the UK for 10 years and loved (almost) every minute of it. I fell in love with London many moons ago and in all honesty, can’t see myself living anywhere else. That said there are definitely aspects of Scandinavian culture and the social welfare structure I miss. Not to mention the struggle of being far away from friends and family. Especially with young children, where one could use a helping hand from time to time.
Would you consider moving to Scandinavia? I highly recommend visiting for holidays as the countries have so much to offer. That way you can see first hand if it’s a place you could live full time and whether living in Scandinavia is better for women?
Pictures were taken during our summer holiday in Denmark last year.