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Girls & Women

Sweden May Soon Require Explicit Consent for Sex

A woman reads a banner during a demonstration to support the wave of testimonies denouncing cases of sexual harassment, in Lyon, central France, Oct. 29, 2017.
Laurent Cipriani/AP

Sweden may be one of the best countries in the world to be a woman, but that doesn’t mean it’s perfect.

The Swedish government is considering a bill, expected to be passed on Thursday, that would tighten rape laws in the Nordic country, the Associated Press reported.

Under this new law, people must receive explicit consent before engaging in sexual contact.

Read more: Biden to College Guys: ‘A Woman Who’s Dead Drunk Cannot Consent’ to Sex

Though the country ranks 5th out of 144 countries for gender equality, according to the World Economic Forum, even Sweden can acknowledge that there is always more that can be done to protect women’s rights.

In Sweden, the #MeToo movement — which gained traction after sexual misconduct allegations against film producer Harvey Weinstein surfaced, leading hundreds of thousands of women to come forward with their own stories of sexual abuse — inspired a similar the national campaign #tystnadtagning, the Independent reported.

“Tystnad tagning” roughly translates to “lights, camera, action,” but hundreds of Swedish actresses, including “Tomb Raider” star Alicia Vikander, recently adopted the phrase as the battle cry of their movement calling out sexual assault and harassment within the Swedish film industry, according to Business Insider.

Take Action: Tell World Leaders to Redouble Their Efforts By Amending Laws to Prevent Sexual Violence

And it wasn’t just women in the film industry who spoke out. Thousands of female Swedish lawyers signed their names to a petition calling for zero-tolerance of sexual misconduct within the country’s legal industry, Business Insider reported.

Isabella Lövin, Sweden’s deputy prime minister, said that these national reactions, inspired by movement #MeToo movement demonstrated “that there is a need” for stricter sexual abuse laws, the AP reported.

The bill, if passed, will go into effect next July, and is just one of several proposals aimed at reducing sexual violence and abuse being considered, according to the AP.

Global Citizen campaigns to #LeveltheLaw and eliminate all forms of gender-based discrimination. You can take action here to ensure women and girls are treated as equals in legislation.