Thursday 4.5.2017 in Latest Developments in Denmark Country Page
On 20th March 2017, the Minister of Culture announced that Kvinfo would be deprived of its mandate to operate a gender equality research library. Kvinfo is an information and development centre for gender equality and diversity that has operated within Denmark’s Ministry of Culture since 1987.
In a public statement, Kvinfo explained its important mandate, stating:
“The Ministry of Culture created Kvinfo with the overarching aim of working towards a more gender equal society… Kvinfo’s activities are a key contribution to the debate on gender, equality and diversity, with an academic foundation".
Soon after making the decision about the research library, the Minister of Immigration, Integration and Housing announced that the Kvinfo's budget would be cut by two million Danish kroner. According to the head of Kvinfo, the Ministry never gave any indication that it was dissatisfied with the organisation's efforts and activities. However, MP Laura Lindahl referred to Kvinfo as a leftist organisation, stating that, therefore, it should seek other sources of support, instead of receiving public funds from the Ministries of Culture, Integration and Foreign Affairs.
A civil society representative commented on the government's decision, declaring:
“Kvinfo is losing financial support by politicians and their openly arguing that they disprove of the organization for being politically to the left while they are themselves right-wing”.
In response to the funding cuts and curtailment of Kvinfo's activities, 29 organisations published an open letter urging the government to maintain Kvinfo and allow it to fulfill its mandate which benefits all of society. A petition has also been started to build public support to oppose the government's decision.
On 18th March 2017, hundreds rallied against racism and discrimination in Aarhus, Denmark's second-largest city, on the east coast of the Jutland peninsula. The demonstration was one of several events that took place on the same day throughout the country, urging greater respect for diversity.
The settlement of refugees in Denmark was the main focus of the demonstrations. To educate the public about the refugees coming to Denmark, the event in Aarhus had a panel of speakers that included Amnesty International's Aarhus group coordinator, Jacob Lang; Danish Refugee Youth Project Manager, Sara Karim-Maden; and Blue Stars representative, Safaa Mohamed Ali.