Scandinavia is one of the best regions in the world to be a woman and Denmark is no exception as the country ranks 11th in the UN Human Development gender equality index, and 13th on the 2018 World Economic Forum Gender Global Gap report.
That status, however, is being challenged as the country deals with gender-based violence. According to an Amnesty International report published on March 6, Denmark has shockingly high levels of impunity for sexual violence and antiquated rape laws that fail to meet international standards, Amnesty’s Secretary-General Kumi Naidoo said.
“The simple truth is that sex without consent is rape. Failure to recognise this in the (existing) law leaves women exposed to sexual violence and fuels a dangerous culture of victim blaming and impunity, which are reinforced by myths and stereotypes which pervade Danish society,” Kumi Naidoo says.
According to Amnesty International’s report, rape in Denmark is hugely under-reported. On the occasion when women do go to the police, the chances of prosecution or conviction are very slim.
Of the women who experienced rape or attempted rape in 2017 (estimates vary from 5,100 according to the Ministry of Justice to 24,000 according to a recent study), just 890 sexual assault cases were reported to the police. Of these, 535 resulted in prosecutions and only 94 in convictions.
Only eight European nations — the UK, Ireland, Belgium, Cyprus, Luxembourg, Iceland, Germany, and Sweden — currently have consent-based definitions of rape built into their legal codes.