Violence against women is a major social problem

Photo: Fredrik Grønningsæter / NTB scanpix

Violence against women is a major social problem

Under the banner, “Legal Security for Women Now”, representatives of 17 organizations marched to the Norwegian parliament on Sunday evening.


“Our goal is to open the conversation to people for all the serious issues each year which is not being followed up,” said leader, Hege Elisabeth Løvbak, of Oslo Women’s Association to NTB news after the march for the abolition of violence against women was over on Sunday evening.

With several hundred holding torches and obvious frustration over the situation behind them, Løvbak delivered a number of demands for better legal certainty for women to the parliamentary president, Tone W. Trøen of Høyre (H) at Eidsvoll Square on Sunday evening. A total of 17 interest organizations, as well as Rødt Oslo, Oslo Sosialistisk Venstreparti(SV) and Socialist Youth (SU) were behind the march.

The organizations require, inter alia, that Norwegian law must be defined so that sex without consent is rape.

The campaign chairperson of the “Legal Certainty Now” torch troop, Ane Stø, of the Women’s Group Ottar, summarised the frustration of the advocates precisely.

Words, but no promises

After several appeals were completed and the claim list handed over, the President of the Parliament, Trøen, held a short speech, which emphasised the importance of the work for women’s rights and promised to deliver the message to their colleagues in “the house behind us”.

“This demonstration is important because violence and abuse against women is a major societal problem that destroys life’’ commented Trøen to NTB news.

The president had a somewhat difficult starting point, as several of the opponents expressed clear annoyance that the government did not prioritise a new law of consent similar to that recently introduced in Sweden.

“These are difficult questions that are still being discussed in parliament” assured Trøen and stressed that she herself is personally concerned about this.

International commitment

Hege Elisabeth Løvbak was grateful for the way Trøen met the protesters. She noted that the organisers had sent mail to many parliamentarians on the occasion of the demonstration, but that there were few who had answered.

November 25 is the UN International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. The organisers of the torchlit procession pointed out that Norwegian authorities have been criticised several times by the UN Women’s Commission for lack of preventive work in this field. This is especially true of the high number of acquittals in rape cases.


© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today