Knowledge is power

Olga Persson starts the seminar Women’s and Girls’ Bodies – Sexuality, Health and Reproductive Rights, by talking about how the lack of knowledge and training regarding women’s and girls’ sexuality and health is a major problem, and all panel members agreed.

“We can’t talk naively about women’s and girls’ bodies without questioning health care and the justice system,” says Tiina Rosenberg, Finland.

“The way people are received in health care, and the discourse, must be changed. Right now, the blame is too often placed on the victim when a sexual assault has taken place.”

Sexual assault is often an ‘invisible’ crime, and it is clear that we must demand more of the justice system. There must be a poltical desire for change, and politicians must understand what must be done. There is a serious lack of knowledge about how women and girls who have been subjected to sexual assault are received, but how much training can be put into this is a resource issue.

“Judges are not able to pass objective judgement on sexual assault. A person must have the right to give consent to their body and sexuality and there must not be, as is the case today, an assumption of consent until the woman says no,” says Zandra Kanakaris, Sverige.

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