Frida Söderlund
Frida Söderlund is one of five women seeking to expose sexist culture at Aftonbladet. Credit: Phelan Chatterjee/Sveriges Radio

Meet the woman exposing media industry sexual harassment

6:37 min

Recently, sexual harassment and assault allegations have been levelled against a number of high-profile Swedish media personalities.

Now, reporter Frida Söderlund at newspaper Aftonbladet is calling on all of her female colleagues to share their stories.

Two weeks ago, Martin Timell, a TV presenter known for heading the TV4 DIY and interior design show Äntligen hemma, was accused of raping an assistant. Accusations of sexual assault against a co-host later emerged.

This Tuesday, prosecutor Anna Bengtsson announced a preliminary investigation into the rape allegation.

Additionally, a TV3 presenter and a "famous Swedish comedian" who had an upcoming contract with Discovery have been dropped following harassment allegations. A boss at the Swedish public service television broadcaster SVT is being investigated.

Radio Sweden visited Aftonbladet, where one columnist has been fired and a former boss dismissed, following similar accusations. Frida Söderlund and four colleagues have sent an e-mail to all of their female colleagues, asking them to share their stories.

It's not easy for women to speak up, so we've given them a platform to do it. In the 70s, Aftonbladet women made The Document, in which they told their stories about sexual assault and sexism at Aftonbladet, so we decided to do it again ... We're journalists – we know that telling the story makes a difference.

Söderlund explained that that women frequently encounter unwanted compliments and condescending remarks in the workplace. It can be difficult to speak out, she adds, since many victims lack job security.

Once all the stories have been gathered, Söderlund and colleagues intend to publish them, in order to raise awareness of the issue.

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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