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Family policy

The period from the end of the Second World War (1940-1945) until the late 1960s is often called the 'heyday of the housewife'. Mothers stayed at home with their children, while fathers worked outside the home. As the 1970s progressed, there was a big demand for labour and it became more common for women to also work outside the home. This has led to many of the care tasks that were previously carried out at home being taken over by public services such as kindergartens, before and after-school programmes and care services for the elderly.

Family policy has also become an important focus area for the public sector. The aim is to strike a good balance between family and work and to promote good families that practice gender equality. The division of labour in Norwegian families is still fairly traditional, and many people are worried that women have to do the lion's share of care work on top of ordinary paid employment. Instead, the aim is to promote a system whereby women work more outside the home while men contribute more at home. There is particular focus on fathers forming good ties with their children. The hope is that this can be achieved by increasing fathers' share of parental leave.

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