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Female politicians

Female politicians stand out: Sexual harassment abounds at Christiansborg

Female politicians

Clapping behind, involuntary touches and lukewarm comments are commonplace for women in political life, two politicians say.

A hand that runs down your back and ends up on one buttocks with a remark that you are nice and looking good.

A pat in the back of the hallway.

A minister who lets his hands wander around your body.

A remark that reads: – You talk so much that you feel like putting some bullets in your mouth and taping yourself so you can be whipped.

A man who quite deliberately protrudes on women, and if they are not fast enough, a hand ends up on the buttocks.

These are just a number of examples from everyday life at Christiansborg . For sexual harassment and sexism is not just a problem in the media industry. A problematic culture also prevails among the elected representatives .

This is how it sounds from two female politicians who are now standing up, after the TV host Sofie Linde has focused on sexism in the media industry.

The two women are Brigitte Klintskov Jerkel and Özlem Cekic. Jerkel is currently sitting in the Folketing for the Conservatives. Cekic was a member of the Folketing for SF from 2008 to 2015.

They agree on a culture where women risk being picked on by male colleagues and getting condescending comments directed at their gender and appearance .

Got a pat on the back in the hallway

Brigitte Klintskov Jerkel is not talking about a past. She tells about the situation as it looks at Christiansborg today. She entered the Folketing in 2016 as a deputy for Brian Mikkelsen, who became minister in Lars Løkke Rasmussen’s government expansion.

And here she experienced how a certain politician on several occasions went far beyond the border.

– At Christiansborg , I have experienced being looked after in the hallway and getting a pat on the back from the same man, she writes to DR .

Due to the sensitive nature of the case, she has wanted to respond in writing.

She will not say who it is, but four times she has been assaulted by the politician.

– I was very shocked, surprised, confused by the action and actually also a little sad inside. The thoughts quickly ran around in my head: Why did he do that? writes Brigitte Klintskov Jerkel.

What do you do when you see him today?

– I take my precautions in relation to avoiding it happening again, and stay a little at a physical distance without it seeming awkward.

And the episodes are not the only thing she has had to model for at Christiansborg .

– I have experienced another male politician who suddenly put his hand on my back and ran it down my back and ended up leaving it on my right buttocks, whereupon he stated that he thought I was nice and so good out, she says.

Brigitte Klintskov Jerkel has not proceeded with the cases. Because it is difficult to talk about – not least in a political environment at Christiansborg .

– The experiences I have had have either been with men who were older than me or were above me in a political hierarchy. So there has also been an imbalance in the relationship, which has made it extra difficult to talk to anyone about, she believes.


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