THE Norske Selskab in Oslo, situated next door to the Norwegian Parliament was founded in 1772 and according to a number of influential women, it hasn’t changed much since then as it is run by men exclusively for men.
This self-titled Norway Club boasts that it is an old and prestigious gentlemen’s club and is the world’s fifth oldest club of its kind.
In a country known for its tolerance and equality between men and women, it is certainly something of an anomaly as not only does it not allow women to join its 1,100 members but it is reluctant to even debate the possibility.
For this reason, some 30 prominent women have sent an open letter to a Norwegian publication criticising the style and antediluvian attitude of the board of the club which would refuse entry to the Country’s Prime Minister and President of the Parliament or indeed Queen Sonja or any of the royal princesses.
As a number of members resign in protest at this male dominated bias, Abid Raja, Norwegian Minister for Culture and Equality has asked them via a radio interview to reconsider their position.
Under current Norwegian law, a private club such a this may, if it so desires, ban women membership without falling foul of any legislation.
So far, members of the board have declined to comment.