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Fridolin: Men should shake women's hands

Updated torsdag 21 april 2016 kl 12.33
Published torsdag 21 april 2016 kl 09.25
Gustav Fridolin: Obviously you have to be able to shake a woman's hand
(1:47 min)
Green Party co-leader Gustav Fridolin at Swedish Radio's morning program P1. Photo: Karin Albons / Swedish Radio.
Green Party co-leader Gustav Fridolin at Swedish Radio's morning program P1. Photo: Karin Albons / Swedish Radio.

Education Minister Gustav Fridolin apologized Wednesday on behalf of his party the Greens after a member refused to shake a female reporter's hand on religious grounds.

Speaking with Swedish Radio's morning program P1, Fridolin said men, especially those wanting to be in Swedish politics, should have no problems shaking a woman's hand.

"I think obviously you have to be able to shake a woman's hand," Fridolin said. "You must be able to show a woman respect."

He added that he had underestimated how many women might feel about the relivation.

Yasri Khan was a candidate for the Green Party’s executive board but quit the party on Wednesday following criticism over his refusal to shake a female journalist’s hand.

He cited his religious beliefs as to why he declined and said a handshake with a woman would have been "very intimate" for him.

His departure capped off a tumultuous week for the Greens who saw their Housing and IT Minister Mehmet Kaplan resign on Monday following criticism of comments made in 2009 on Israel’s treatment of Palestinians as well as a dinner he attended last year that featured Turkish ultra-nationalists as fellow guests.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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