Why Denmark is facing questions over a culture of sexual harassment in the workplace

Why Denmark is facing questions over a culture of sexual harassment in the workplace
View of Copenhagen and the Danish flag. Photo: ERIC BARADAT / AFP
A government minister on Friday promised action after hundreds signed a letter of support for a Danish TV host who revealed her experience with workplace sexual harassment.

At the end of August, hugely popular 31-year-old TV host Sofie Linde stunned viewers of a live televised gala by revealing that a senior public television executive had offered 12 years ago to boost her career in exchange for oral sex.

“We have to put an end to sexual harassment in the workplace. That's why I invite Sofie Linde, and some of the others behind the letter published in support of her, to a discussion about how to promote a culture where everyone's boundaries are respected in every workplace,” Gender Equality Minister Mogens Jensen wrote on Twitter.

Linde has not disclosed the identity of the executive.

TV presenter Sofie Lund. Photo: Ida Guldbæk Arentsen/Ritzau Scanpix

Part of the debate that ensued focused on Linde's credibility, in a country proud of its reputation as progressive and gender equal, with a female prime minister and where the 2017 #MeToo movement made few waves.

Earlier this week, several journalists wrote a letter in support of Linde, which has since garnered more than 700 signatures.

“We have all experienced it to one extent or another during our careers: inappropriate remarks on our appearance or clothing; suggestive messages; physical behaviour that crosses the line; warnings about the men to steer clear of at the office Christmas party,” the letter reads.

A survey by the journalists' union in 2018 showed that 18 percent of women working in media in Denmark said they had been a victim of sexual harassment in the workplace in the past 10 years.

“I don't think I've ever spoken to a woman who has not, at some point or another during her career, been subjected to sexist remarks,” one of the initiators of the letter, journalist Maria Andersen, told public television DR.

 


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  1. I find Danish women extremely afraid of men in the streets, especially from foreign men. I don’t remember this type of behaviour from women in other countries l have been. On the other hand they tend to be much more promiscuous than women in most countries. Go figure.

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