Hvad er #metoo MeToo Denmark Rape Systematic Sexual Harassment

A nation widely respected for its high gender equality expectations now faces claims of widespread sexual abuse at the top of the political establishment.

MeToo Denmark Rape Systematic Sexual Harassment

Sex harassment Scandals Rock Denmark After 'MeToo'

A nation widely respected for its high gender equality expectations now faces claims of widespread sexual abuse at the top of the political establishment.

For years, Denmark 's parliament has reportedly acted as a backdrop for misogynistic activities like anything from abuse to sexual harassment by male lawmakers. That's a list of charges signed by 322 current and former female politicians and parliament employees.

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen says that there is an issue now "impossible to challenge," and hired external lawyers to look into the allegations. That's how she faces criticism for naming a foreign minister who admitted having sex with a 15-year-old at 34.

Discussion has forced a national dialogue in a country that views itself as a bastion of freedom and transparency. Part of the problem is complacency, according to former prime minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt and the first woman ever to head Denmark 's government.

"We've long thought we'd achieve gender equality," said Thorning-Schmidt in a phone interview. "That's why we thought there's probably no sexual assault."

But recent weeks' revelations are a "wake-up call," she said.

3 Years later

Denmark's MeToo moment began in August, almost three years after the campaign grabbed much of the planet. And the medium it hit was television.

Sofie Linde, a popular TV host, shocked her viewers when she went off-script and spoke of an experience when she was 18. She said a senior staff member forced her to conduct oral sex, or risk her career being derailed.

Linde, who says she declined, caused a reaction flood. In the following weeks, hundreds of testimonials were released in newspapers and on social media, exposing common encounters in which young women in many professions spoke of becoming victims of sexual assault.

Newspaper opinion pages were packed with outpouring comments. Some were dismissive, some mocking, but many suggested Denmark faced a reckoning moment.

Regulation correctness

Thorning-Schmidt became prime minister in 2011, 96 years after Danish women were elected. She says Danish self-perception made it impossible for the nation to believe it's vulnerable to the same kinds of sexual harassment the U.S. has seen. The former premier also refers to Denmark 's pervasive distrust of political correctness.

Against this backdrop, Denmark 's parliament became an atmosphere in which women's grievances were frequently deaf to those in power, claimed by its female workers.

Kira Marie Peter-Hansen, 22-year-old Danish MEP and one of the letter's 322 signatories, says there has been a trend to acknowledge sexual abuse in Denmark.

"But my generation has a better understanding of where the limits must be," she said.

The Foreign Ministry

Frederiksen, who heads the same Social Democratic party that Thorning-Schmidt once ran, now has to respond to claims that she tried to raise questions about her foreign minister, Jeppe Kofod. In 2008, Kofod was a high-ranking Social Democrat, representing the party on many parliamentary committees. He was the fifteen-year - old founder of Social Democrats' junior wing. She was only below the legal age of consent that rendered the act a felony.

Kofod then publicly apologised and Thorning-Schmidt, who was party chair in 2008, stripped him of his duties. Frederiksen, among others, criticized her for being too harsh.

Frederiksen defends her decision to help Kofod with his public apologies. "I think it's important that if you make a serious mistake, which is what it is, you apologize and distance yourself. And there's nothing to say, "she told TV2 broadcaster.

But Denmark's new-found knowledge about sexual victimization has shed new light on the incident.

"Those in leadership positions who helped cover up such cases need to wonder whether they're part of the solution or part of the problem," Thorning-Schmidt said.

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