Often the Nordic welfare states are understood as a heaven on earth for women. They are described as 'potentially women friendly' (Hernes, 1987), or as carriers of state feminism. State feminism is understood in a wide sense as feminism from above (social and equal opportunity policies), from below (women's mobilization through, for example, social movements) and through the feminization and support of welfare state professions (Hernes, 1987; 1998). Hemes understands these professions as being staffed increasingly by women creating professional, regulated and safe jobs for women.