A poll of more than 25,000 people in 23 major countries found that just one in six Danes consider themselves a feminist . It is one of the best places in the world to be a woman, with a narrow gender pay gap, equal employment rights, universal nursery care, and some of the happiest female retirees on the planet.
So it comes as a surprise to find, in a global survey of attitudes towards gender, equal rights and the #MeToo movement, that Denmark is one of the least feminist countries in the developed world.
The poll, conducted by the YouGov-Cambridge Globalism Project of more than 25,000 people in 23 major countries, found that just one in six Danes consider themselves a feminist, a third said that wolf whistling at women in the street was acceptable, and two in five had an unfavourable view of the #MeToo movement.
“It’s a difficult question. What is a modern feminist?” muses Helene Frost Hansen, a 37-year-old accountant, as she bites into her sandwich outside her office on Copenhagen’s City Hall Square. “I don’t want to be equal in all senses.”
“It depends what you mean. I’m just ordinary, says Charlotte Venvike, a 55-year-old taking her break from the bank where she works. “I’m not marching in the streets.”
According to the data, only a quarter of Danish women consider themselves feminists, a stark contrast to neighbouring Sweden, where 46% do, and a smaller share even than in countries like Italy, Spain and the UK, which otherwise lag far behind Denmark on gender equality.
Even Denmark’s Equality Minister Karen Ellemann declared that she didn’t consider herself one when she took up the post three years ago.
Of a dozen women approached in the Danish capital, only one had time for the f-word.
“Yes, and I had three daughters and raised them all as feminists,”
says Charlotte Mathiesen. “The man has to do exactly the same jobs as the women.”