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Denmark's #MeToo Movement Reemerges With Sexual Harassment Allegations In Parliament

With emerging stories of sexism and harassment in the country that is often viewed as a bastion of gender equality, Denmark is currently surrounded by scandals.

Denmark

With emerging stories of sexism and harassment in the country, that is often viewed as a bastion of gender equality, Denmark is currently surrounded by scandals. As per the Bloomberg report, female interns at Denmark parliament have been a victim of misogynistic conduct including rape and sexual intimidation by male lawmakers. This reemergence of #MeToo movement in the nation, which witnessed upheaval in 2017, is because of 322 current and former female politicians signing the list of accusations.

Recently, Denmark Prime minister Mette Frederiksen said it is now “impossible to contest” that there is a problem and has hired external lawyers to investigate into the allegations. Meanwhile, she is already on the receiving end of the backlash for appointing a foreign minister who reportedly confessed to having intercourse with a 15-year-old when he was 34. With thousands of women coming up with stories of sexism and harassment, a national debate has triggered the abuse in Denmark that often prides itself on equality and openness. 

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Social Liberal Party leader resigned, apologised

As per reports, earlier this week, the leader of Social Liberal Party, Morten Ostergaard resigned from the post when allegations emerged that he had placed his hand on the thigh of a female colleague a decade ago. Following which, MP Lotte Rod wrote on Facebook that “Morten has apologised and I have forgiven him”. Calling for a “change of culture”, Rod said that the problem was “not what happened but the way it was handled”. 

Bloomberg quoted Helle Thorning-Schmidt, former Denmark Prime Minister and the first woman ever to lead country’s government as saying that the part of the issue at hand is ‘complacency’. In a phone interview with the media outlet, she said that politicians in Denmark have “long assumed” that gender equality has been achieved. Therefore, it led people to assume that there is “probably no sexual harassment”. However, she called the revelations that emerged in the recent week as a “wake-up call”. 

Denmark’s MeToo movement had started roughly in August 2017 after its uproar had already tightened its grip on rest of the world. It was initiated by a popular television host who went off-script to describe an encounter with a senior staff member when she was 18 years old. 

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Image: AP/Representative

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