The global community is appalled at the sudden deaths of six of Sweden’s women within a span of just five weeks. The deaths occurred across three-generations and a man has been arrested who likely had a relationship with all the victims. Two of the murders occurred in broad daylight while another woman was stabbed in her own home.
Sweden is often lauded as one of the most non-discriminatory nations dedicated to building an atmosphere of safety for all genders. This incident has occurred at a time when there is a growing concern about violence against women. Several have come out raising their voices against how they feel unsafe in their own country.
Sweden’s self-dubbed ‘feminist government’ is halfway towards achieving its 10-year national strategy with a special focus on women. It is aimed at protecting them under threat and offering them educational opportunities to excel. Hence, Prime Minister Stefan Lofven spoke out in public condemnation of these killings, calling them ‘a societal problem that must be fought with the combined power of all of society’. Several other political leaders and ministers have come out in their censure of these heinous murders. Marta Steveni, Sweden’s Gender Equality Minister has decided to start a cross-talk across all political parties for stringent punishments to be brought into place. At the end of this month, a crisis commission is expected to present a report on how to handle the situation by establishing longer prison sentences and increasing restraining orders. All these provisions are aimed at helping the women of Sweden feel safe when traversing their everyday lives.
A survey undertaken recently shows that violence against women of Sweden has increased manifold times in the past year. While no concrete causes have been found for this change, critics believe that the pandemic is a strong possibility with women spending more time at home, exposing them to the risk of greater violence. A political and social reaction could be a turning point to tackle the situation quickly. The police have begun to prioritize the safety of women. A ‘Vision Zero’ is the reigning principle guiding their actions against preventing any such crimes in the future. The need is for men to accept responsibility for their actions and take corrective steps to establish an environment free from the terror looming on women right now.
An issue that should get greater importance at the world level, women of every country, not just solely Sweden should be able to live a life free of the terror of an attack that they could face. While Sweden is taking quick and sure steps, the world community should be committed to this cause of a safe environment for women.