Sweden Democrats face 'honour violence' ad fury
Published: 13 Mar 2012 16:22 GMT+01:00
Updated: 13 Mar 2012 16:22 GMT+01:00
The Sweden Democrats’ Women's Association (SD-Kvinnor) presented a new internet commercial last week, meant to “highlight honour related violence”, an issue they feel is not getting enough media attention.
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“Today when we speak about equality we speak a lot about equal pay and affirmative action, but there are women out there who are dying, who can’t leave their homes,” said SD Kvinnor spokesperson Therese Borg to The Local.
The film, which was released to coincide with International Women’s Day last Thursday, shows a young immigrant woman who is beaten by what appears to be members of her family and other relatives while a mournful tune is played.
The violent scenes are concluded by a blonde and pale-skinned woman wiping up blood from the floor.
The narrative, which is all in rhyme, poses questions such as ”what if tolerance is just naivety” and ”what if culture kills”.
The film was quickly slammed by influential feminists like former leader of the Left Party and later of the feminist party Feminist Initiative (Feministiskt Initiativ, FI) Gudrun Schyman.
“SD is trying to hijack the equality question, just like they have done with other issues before. It is just that when you look at their own politics it is the most racist, homophobic and anti-feminist to be found in the Swedish Riksdag,” Schyman said to newspaper Metro.
Borg, on the other hand does not agree.
“Does anyone own this issue? Is it only for some to argue for equality? I find what her statement implies remarkable," she said.
Instead, Borg explained, the association wants to create an awareness of a phenomenon they feel is lost among other issues like equal pay and affirmative action.
“These women are forgotten in Sweden today – is it only Swedish women that deserve help?” Borg asked.
But according to FI spokesperson Carl Emanuelsson, it is unfortunate that the Sweden Democrats are giving such a simplistic view of the problem.
“They are painting a picture of Sweden where all problems can be traced back to one thing,” Emanuelsson told The Local.
According to Emanuelsson, it is vital that these issues are brought to light in society but not at the expense of another group.
“The Sweden Democrats are trying to make men’s violence against women into a race issue. It gives a warped picture of Sweden today,” Emanuelsson said.