Gender equality is a fundamental political and legal obligation for most of the world’s states. The public governance of the Arctic, performed by democratic institutions established by the Arctic states, has the obligation to meet the needs of all. This article presents an analysis on whether the structure of the governance meets the needs of all equally. The analysis of the organisation’s rhetoric and activities shows what interests and whose which are maintained, as well as those who are not prioritised. Gender equality and other social sustainable considerations are treated as reactive in relation to economic development. Gender equality, as well as equality between different ethnic groups, have not, so far, been prioritised within the public governance of the Arctic despite far-reaching obligations for the concerned states.