How to Treat Women in Denmark


Countries are very diverse in their family values and gender roles, so it's important to do some research before you embark on a journey abroad. If you'll be traveling to Denmark, learn a bit about the culture, home and work environment so you'll be prepared to behave properly and treat women in a culturally appropriate manner.

  • Shake hands with women first when you enter a room, making sure to treat them respectfully by looking them in the eyes.

  • Address a woman by her professional title and last name when interacting in a work environment. While the Danish begin using first names once they've gotten to know someone, do not address a woman by her first name unless she requests it. If you do not know a woman's professional title or she does not have one, replace it with "Fru" if she is married and "Froken" if she is single.

  • Remember that Danish women are highly educated. Danes are known for pursuing lifelong education and continually expanding their horizons.

  • Recognize the equality of women in social situations, as well as in the workplace. Danish women are highly respected at work, receiving the same salary and promotion opportunities as men. Having achieved this equal status, they expect to be held in high regard in all circumstances.

  • Refrain from asking a woman with children whether or not she is married. It is considered socially acceptable in Denmark for men and women to decide to start families without legalizing their partnerships.

  • Do not assume that women are the primary childcare givers, or treat them as such. Danish men are recognized for being more actively involved in childrearing than men in many other European countries, often taking lengthy periods off work to help care for newborn children. Each couple has 52 weeks of maternity/paternity leave to divide between them after a child is born. In addition, workplaces are respectful of family commitments, allowing men and women to work flexible hours in order to care for family and foster a career.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you're interested in learning more about Danish culture and customs, visit the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website (see Resources below).
  • Do not boast about accomplishments or talents when talking to women in Denmark. As a whole, Danish society practices modesty. Danish woman are unlikely to appreciate or understand efforts to draw attention to yourself.
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