Gender-equality and empowerment of women have been part of the work of the Church Council almost from the start of their activities in the early 1970's. Several studies including the basis for future work were published then. More permanent positions with different management teams in the field have been created since the beginning of the 1980’s.
A high priority was attached to the initiatives of World Council of Churches during the decade of 1988-1998 – which saw churches working in solidarity with women. The Council, the supreme body of the Norwegian Church adopted the schedule for the decade and for the implementation of it. Based on the decision of the Council, this period experienced extensive leadership development programs for women in the church, and 8 March liturgies saw inclusive language in worship being incorporated.
The issues concerning abuse of women in relationships and sexual abuse in religious contexts were given high priority. The latter resulted in the forming of the foundation for the church resource center against violence and sexual assault.
The Church Council, which is the executive organ of the Council, adopted in autumn of 2008, the following strategic plan for gender and equality in the Norwegian Church for 2009-2014: 'An equal dignity and gender equal community between women and men, girls and boys.'
Gender and equality perspectives must be incorporated at all levels and fields in the Norwegian Church, which will:
• Promote equal gender distribution amongst staff, elected and volunteer staff at all levels.
• Ensure skill development and job resources in relation to equality and gender equality.
• Work with gender and equality perspectives on theology, liturgy, church services, diaconal, teaching faith, and leadership development.
• Strengthen gender-equality perspectives in church reform and restructuring processes.
• Encourage theological work with physical and mental abuse in a gender and power perspective.
The strategic plan is published as a brochure with an introductory part and an equality test for use in churches.
Human resources in the field in the past decade have been significantly reduced. The review of gender and gender equality is done by an advisory body for the Church Council's secretariat. The committee is appointed administratively by both women and men members. The current term of appointment expired in 2009. A new committee is to be appointed in the spring of 2010.
The Norwegian Church is represented in the Norwegian ecumenical contact forum for women and the Nordic ecumenical women’s committee (NEKK). In cooperation with the latter the Church Council created a Nordic women's ecumenical workshop called, “ In the Character of Culture”, during 5-8. August 2010 on the Sky & Sea, the Sun, with the theme "When lived life gives creative expression".