Summer Essay: Gender Equality

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Rape. It isn’t taken lightly in the United States. But outside the U.S., rape is in the same category as property theft. A woman who lived in Norway with her husband had been raped more violently than ever, one night in their 15 year marriage. She left behind the man she once loved, her identity as a wife, and her entire life. Norway competes with its neighbors for the title of most gender-equal country in the world. Yet nobody seems to notice that gender equality in Norway and many other countries, stops at the bedroom door. “One in 10 Norwegian women over the age of 15 has been raped, according to the country’s largest shelter organization, the Secretariat of the Shelter Movement. But at least 80 percent of the cases are never brought to official attention and only 10 percent of those that are end in a conviction, the Justice Ministry says.” According to one of the general managers of the Shelter Movement, the safest place for women is outside their homes and on the streets because most of the rapes are happening in their homes. Norway is one of 127 countries in the world that do not explicitly criminalize rape within marriage. Within a marriage or not, it is still a crime that people should be taking action on. Although Norway and other Scandinavian countries had removed the exemption for husbands from rape legislation in the 1960s and 1970s,preconceptions about sexuality in marriage still live on. The reason so few women go to the police is because it takes a lot to come forward, and often, you get little in return.

Some people are trying to change the way the system treats this type of crime. The minister of justice and police, Knut Storberget, has made it a priority to stop violence against women. “This is not just a female issue..” The foundation of Norway dealing with rape cases is substantial. The majority of rape victims, specifically from spousal abuse, wont come to the hospital for a rape kit exam. “As many as 60 percent of...
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