Refinery29 has partnered with Allison Rapson and Kassidy Brown, founders of the media company We Are the XX, for a documentary series exploring the lives of women around the world. "A Woman's Place" features the empowering stories of female activists working for real change in their communities. This story draws on interviews conducted by Rapson and Brown.
Although Sweden routinely ranks
among the world's most progressive countries when it comes to gender equality, female activists there say there are ways in which the Nordic nation falls short on supporting women.
"Sweden has this picture of being a great gender-equality land, and we’re not," activist Anna Falgen Enqvist said. "There is so much more to be done."
One area in need of serious improvement is the country's sexual-consent laws, activists say. Unlike in the United States, where the FBI now defines rape as penetration without consent
, laws in Sweden define the crime as sex that is forced.
"The law is saying that its okay to have sex, even when someone is telling you no," Enqvist said. "Because the law is not built upon consent."
Enqvist is part of Fatta, a campaign to call attention to that issue. The campaign has brought together activists, such as Enqvist, and members of Femtastic, a feminist collective that uses music and art to fight for issues that impact women in Sweden.
As part of that work, the group released "Fatta,"
a song aimed at raising awareness about sexual violence and the need to change the consent laws. The song features real stories of sexual violence.
In addition to changing the consent laws, Femtastic is calling for better treatment when it comes to pay and work opportunities. One of the reasons the group was founded years ago was to help women find jobs as DJs.
"We want to change the male-dominated structures of the music industry in Sweden, and in the world, of course," Vanessa Marko, one of the group's co-founders, said.