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Topless bathers conspicuously absent at Malmö pools

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12:58 CEST+02:00
Despite winning the right to bathe topless at all of the municipal swimming pools in Malmö, bare-breasted female bathers have remained conspicuous by their absence.

Few women it seems have rushed to exploit a recent ruling by the city's sports and recreation committee, in which it rejected a call for women to be obliged to cover their breasts while taking a dip in local pools.

"We haven't noticed any significant difference. My colleagues and I have not seen any women who have made use of the possibility to swim topless - not while we have been on duty anyway," said Zakrea El-Falou at Aqua-va-kul in central Malmö to The Local on Monday.

Neither has the warm summer weather encouraged Malmö's female bathers to take a stand as the news from the city's outdoor facilities is much the same.

"I haven't seen a single woman bathing topless during any of my shifts," Robert Nilsson at open-air Lindängsbadet said to The Local.

The Local reported in June that the Malmö council committee had been forced into taking a stand on the issue after a spate of visits by the feminist direct action group Bara Bröst ( which means both 'Just Breasts' and 'Bare Breasts') had opened political gulfs over the issue.

"Everyone is required to have a swimsuit when visiting the city’s indoor pools and if it doesn’t cover the upper body, that’s OK too," Bengt Forsberg, chair of the sports and recreation committee on recreation, told The Local after the decision.

But it now seems that the stand was a false dawn for the liberty of the female form.

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The Bara Bröst network launched a campaign in 2007 to raise awareness over the issue and calls for new legislation to "break the culture of discrimination" and which "stands on the side of the victim and not the side of the sex offender".

The Local has on Monday tried to contact representatives for the network for a comment on recent developments, but without success.

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