Since the #MeToo movement gained traction in 2017 millions of women have use the hashtag #MeToo on social media across the world. Anonymously or not, women have revealed epidemic levels of harassment, violence and everyday sexism. Women have called upon people in position of power to act and to help bring an end to women’s inequality and systematic sexism. In some countries the impact of #MeToo has been minimal while in others the movement has led to a robust review of structural inequalities, within specific sectors or in society at large. The impact of #MeToo has been significantly different amongst the Nordic countries, which normally rank high on gender equality indexes.
This Nordic/international conference will explore the #MeToo movement in an international context. Why did the movement gain such momentum in 2017 and what was the different impact on sectors, societies and countries? What does #MeToo tell us about the intersections of gender, sex, race, class, religion, ethnicity, age, disability and sexualities? What impact will #MeToo have on women’s equality in the Nordic countries and beyond?
The conference is a part of the Icelandic Presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers in 2019. It will particularly explore the impact of #MeToo on young people, including by examining the role of social media. The relationship between harassment and violence on one hand and public health on the other hand will be explored, as well as the impact of harassment on women at work, in education and in public spaces. Lastly, the conference will ask how government, businesses and organisations have, and should, respond to #MeToo.
#MeToo why now?
Why did the #MeToo movement gain such momentum in 2017? Why were women willing and able to speak out about harassment and violence? What is the role of social media in social movements like #MeToo? Can hashtags become social movements? How and why did the impact vary between different sectors of society and between countries? What does #MeToo tell us about intersectionality?
#MeToo: what next?
What does the push back on #MeToo tell us about sexual politics? Will #MeToo lead to a cultural shift (or has it)? How can governments respond to #MeToo? How have men responded to #MeToo and how are perpetrators of violence and harassment being held to account? What does #MeToo tell us about justice for women? Do women’s stories translate into new policies or cultural change?
#MeToo and the Nordic countries
How has the #MeToo movement varied between the Nordic countries? What impact has #MeToo had on Nordic societies and public health? How does sexual and gender-based harassment impact women at work, in education and in public spaces? What can the Nordic countries learn from #MeToo and which lessons can be drawn in relation to gender, sex, race, class, religion, ethnicity, age, disability and sexualities? How can these lessons help advance women’s equality in the Nordic countries?