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Important for #MeToo to lead to change, PM says

17.05.2021 - 15:42
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 Mynd: RÚV
Prime minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir says further work is needed to raise awareness in society of gender-based abuse. She says it is important that the personal stories women in Iceland have been sharing online lead to palpable change.

The first #MeToo movement in Iceland was in full swing when Katrín became prime minister in November 2017. At last Friday’s cabinet meeting, she presented a summary of actions taken since then against gender-based and sexual abuse and harassment: a total of 34 actions, including changes to the law, a new prevention action plan, extra funding to social bodies and other projects relating to law enforcement and increased dialogue in the wider community. 

“Among our first acts was to increase police and district prosecutors’ funding for the investigation and processing of sexual abuse cases. Since then, we have been working to change many laws, under the leadership of the justice minister, to improve the judicial system and also to stir awareness of abuse in collaboration with both educational establishments and employers,” Katrín says. 

There is still further to go and more work needed to raise awareness: “We all agree that work is needed to change the culture and we do that, among other things, through our schools and young people. This calls for an open discussion there on this topic in order to change the culture in the long-term.” 

The prime minister adds that the national discussion now taking place must lead to real change: “I have been following this discussion, as we all have, and it is important for these stories to lead to changes.” 

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