How Gender Equality Can Be Dated Back to the Age of the Vikings

Some of the most gender-equal countries of the world are the Scandinavian countries, from their equal-pay policies to the way men behave around the home, taking care of the children, and doing the housework. Now even research has proved that gender quality in Scandinavian countries is not actually a new phenomenon but something that has been part of their history for generations, namely through the Vikings. 

Boys & girls had equal access to food in their formative years, this kind of equality led to a positive development

Dr. Laura Maravall and Professor Jörg Baten, economic historians who have been working at the University of Tübingen, particularly in the domain of Viking Studies revealed that women had the same or even better health than the men. This was based on the data taken from their teeth and skeletons. This also led the researchers to believe that both boys and girls had equal access to food in their formative years and in turn, this kind of gender equality led to positive development. With bones found in various sites across Europe from the last 2,000 years showed that both men and women sustained equal damage and if women received less nutrition in their life, their teeth would have sustained more damage. Dr. Maravall said, “The extent to which values differ between men and women is therefore also a measure of equality within the population.” Also, the length of the femurs of male and female skeletons showed a good diet and good overall health.

The big picture reveals that there is a big connection between “gender equality & a country’s economic development

In addition to this, the research also revealed that many Scandinavian women were engaged in animal husbandry, which helped raise their status in their communities because it was considered an important job, as much as farming. However, this wasn’t the same throughout all areas, “The Swedish towns of Lund and Sigtuna—on the site of today’s Stockholm—and in Trondheim in Norway, had developed a class system by the Early Middle Ages. The women there did not have the same equality as their sisters in the countryside,” said Professor Baten. Animal husbandry also gave women a steady income, and through this, they could contribute to the family. Hence, the big picture reveals that there is a big connection between “gender equality and a country’s economic development. Gender equality not only increases women’s prosperity, but it also has a positive impact on economic growth and development in general,” added Baten. Hence, this could be the reason why countries like Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Finland are some of the most prosperous nations in the world today because gender equality has trickled down the generations from the age of the Vikings.

Image credit: NME.com

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