Olga Persson (S)

Peter Söderström (S)

Men Who Hate Women - a Part of the Swedish Culture

Equality between men and women is a fundamental constitutional norm and an explicit policy objective in Sweden since the beginning of 1970.  The sixth gender equality goal is an imperative, ”Men’s violence against women has to stop”. As in the rest of the world gender inequality still is very clearly present both politically, economically and socially in Sweden. Men still have power, status and privilege at women expense. And nowhere is it more apparent then in women´s and girls everyday lives. 

Nearly 30,000 police reports of violent crimes against women were submitted in 2018. The estimation is that only 1 in 4 report the abuse to the police. The Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention estimates that 100 rapes are committed every day (36,500/year). Around 8000 of them were reported to the police last year. Every 10th child is estimated to live with a father who commits violence against his mother. Since 2000 more than 300 women were murderd by their male partner. More than 250 children are left without their mother. Many of them were home when their mother was killed, saw the murder or found their mother dead. 

The #metoo movement also exposed the devastating magnitude of mens sexism, sexual harassment and sexualized violence against women at the workplace. Tens of thousands of women shared their life stories of abuse and the impunity of men. It is not the first time women are thelling their stories but the media coverage and the internet created a feeling that this was something new and many stakeholders was looking for a reason. What researchers has called the Nordic paradox is now in the spot light. How can men in one of the worlds richest countries with one of the most progressive legislation on womens rights still comit such huge amount of violence?  And what can we do to stop it? 

The scope of different forms of mens violence against women in Sweden, will through Olga Persson and Peter Söderström be connected to mens hate against women and how a popular culture and the mainstream porn industry creates a culture where sexism, sexual harassment and sexualized violence is an everyday affair. The porn industry is now one of our absolute biggest challenges to reach a gender equal society and we all have to understand the the mechanisms behind it and how it has hijacked our culture and normalized dehumanisation and degradation of women. 

 


Olga Persson is a political scientist and has great expertise and experience in the fields of men’s violence against women, violence prevention, rape and sexual abuse of children, both from the civil society movements and from the state official level. As Secretary-General of Unizon she works with advocacy on a national and international level, training of the judicial and legal system, as well as capacity building of the 140 member organizations around Sweden. Olga is specialized in issues concerning violence prevention and masculinities, rape, sexual abuse and prostitution as a form of men´s violence against women. Olga has also worked several years at a front line service, directly with victims of rape. 

Peter Söderström's area of expertise is gender equality, with a focus on men's violence against women and children. He is particularly concerned with gender transformative violence prevention and a critical masculinity perspective. His main working areas have been strategic and analytical work, structured cooperation between authorities, developing and implementing different kinds of training activities and training material, investigation and supervision.

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