Eva Kolstad

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Eva Kolstad
18th President of the Norwegian Association for Women's Rights
In office
Preceded by Signe Swensson
Succeeded by Clara Ottesen
Member of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women
In office
Minister of Government Administration and Consumer Affairs of Norway
In office
Prime Minister Lars Korvald
Preceded by Inger Louise Valle
Succeeded by Odd Sagør
Leader of the Liberal Party
In office
Preceded by Helge Rognlien
Succeeded by Hans Hammond Rossbach
Gender Equality Ombud of Norway
In office
Succeeded by Ingse Stabel
Personal details
Born 6 May 1918
Died 26 March 1999
Nationality Norway
Political party Liberal Party

Eva Lundegaard Kolstad (6 May 1918 – 26 March 1999) was a Norwegian politician and government minister for the Liberal Party, and a central figure in the history of gender equality in Norway and internationally. She served as President of the Norwegian Association for Women's Rights (1956–1968), member and vice chairman of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (1969–1975), Minister of Government Administration and Consumer Affairs of Norway in Korvald's Cabinet (1972–1973), leader of the Liberal Party (1974–1976) and as Norwegian Gender Equality Ombudsman (1978–1988), the first gender equality ombudsman worldwide. She contributed significantly to the development of the United Nations' gender equality policies.

Early life

Eva Kolstad was born in 1918 in Halder, Norway.[1] She worked as a bookkeeping teacher before becoming active in the cause of women's rights.[1][2]


Kolstad was the leader of the Liberal Party from 1974 to 1976, making her the first female party leader in Norway. She was also the first ombudsman for gender equality (likestillingsombud) in Norway, and in extent the world. Outside politics she worked as an accountant.[2]

She was a minor ballot candidate in the 1953 election, and was not elected.[3] She served as a deputy representative to the Parliament of Norway from Oslo during the terms 1957–1961 and 1965–1969.[4] In between she was runner-up behind Helge Seip on the Liberal ballot in the 1961 election, but the Liberals had no MPs elected.[5] She was the Minister of Administration and Consumer Affairs in 1972–1973 during the cabinet Korvald. On the local level she was member of the executive committee of Oslo city council from 1960 to 1975.[2][4]

Kolstad was a Commander of the Order of St. Olav and received the Medal of St. Hallvard in 1986.[2]

Personal life

She was married to the lawyer and Assistant Director General in the Ministry of Justice, Ragnar Kolstad. Her father-in-law was Prime Minister Peder Kolstad.[2]


  1. ^ a b Commire, Anne (2007). Dictionary of Women Worldwide: 25,000 Women Through the Ages. Detroit: Yorkin Publications. p. 1049. ISBN 0787675857.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Eva Kolstad". Norsk biografisk leksikon. Kunnskapsforlaget. 1999–2005.
  3. ^ "Norges Offisielle Statistikk. XI. 180. Stortingsvalget 1953" (PDF) (in Norwegian). Statistics Norway.
  4. ^ a b "Eva Kolstad" (in Norwegian). Storting.
  5. ^ "Norges Offisielle Statistikk. XII. 68. Stortingsvalget 1961" (PDF) (in Norwegian). Statistics Norway.
Political offices
Preceded by
Inger Louise Valle
Norwegian Minister of Administration and Consumer Affairs
Succeeded by
Odd Georg Sagør
Party political offices
Preceded by
Helge Rognlien
Leader of the Liberal Party of Norway
Succeeded by
Hans Hammond Rossbach
Civic offices
Preceded by
position created
Norwegian Gender Equality Ombud
Succeeded by
Ingse Stabel

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