Our pledge

This website and the handbook presented here are in honor of each and every person who shared their personal stories of sexism through the initiative ‘Sexism in Danish Academia’. And it is in solidarity to all of those who have suffered, but have not dared to speak up.

With this, the initiative fulfills the promise to give voice to the many who have experienced sexism in Danish academia, so that they no longer need to feel alone, unheard, disrespected and silenced.

The handbook is a revolutionary exposition of many and multifarious experiences, a transformation from ‘I have suffered’ to ‘we have suffered’. The awakening of the us is in itself a political action towards change, so that we may not ever forget or hide away the suffering caused by gendered and sexual harassment – every day, still, this day today.

The many voices and stories show the multiplicity of sexism, its many facets and types. They reveal how sexism traps our human flourishing and constrains what we can become individually, collectively, institutionally and as a society. They reveal how sexism has consequences for you, us and everyone. They also reveal how sexism discriminates across and along different gender and sex identifications (i.e. including men and others).

While gender-based harassment and discrimination have a direct negative impact on women mostly, it is not exclusively a ‘women’s matter’. Rather, by shaping our language, relationships and collaborations, sexism affects and diminishes us all.

No single person, unit or department can fix it alone. We need to all engage, collectively and collaboratively, in ongoing respectful efforts, if we are ever to limit and decrease the severe problems and effects that gendered and sexual harassment have on research environments, talent development, educational activities and not least our professional relationships.

Taking action against sexism is not only a deeply ethical concern, but indeed also a socio-economic matter – one that touches us all and which we all need to care fundamentally for.

Sexism in Danish Higher Education and Research

Moved to action by the renewed attention to the prevailing problem of sexism, Mie Plotnikof and Sara Louise Muhr conceived the initiative ’Sexism in Danish Higher Education and Research’ at the end of September. Within a couple of days, a total of 16 people rallied to issue an open invitation to sign a petition concerning personal experience with or witnessing of sexism in the Danish higher education and research sector.

The group of initiators represent several Danish universities, research institutions and university colleges as well as a wide range of disciplines and nationalities but have engaged in this initiative from a private and personal standpoint.

  • Mie Plotnikof, Aarhus Universitet
  • Anja Andersen, Københavns Universitet
  • Sara Louise Muhr, Copenhagen Business School
  • Jo Krøjer, Roskilde Universitet
  • Ning de Coninck-Smith, Aarhus Universitet
  • Ana Maria Munar, Copenhagen Business School
  • Sorcha MacLeod, Københavns Universitet
  • Sofie Sauzet, Københavns Professionshøjskole
  • Lene Bull Christiansen, Roskilde Universitet
  • Eva Sophia Myers, Syddansk Universitet
  • Tine Jess, Statens Serum Institut
  • Lisa Ann Richey, Copenhagen Business School
  • Hanne Andersen, Københavns Universitet
  • Mette Lykke Nielsen, Aalborg Universitet
  • Mia Husted, Københavns Professionshøjskole
  • Christa Amhøj, Copenhagen Business School

FOTO: Jens Dresling/Ritzau Scanpix

In the media: A list of media-coverage around the time of the coverage in Politiken.dk – and after:

Politiken – 689 forskere oplever sexistisk adfærd i universitetsverdenen – October 8, 2020 (in Danish)

Politiken – Forsker bag underskrifter: Jeg havde på en måde håbet, at ingen ville skrive under – October 9, 2020 (in Danish)

Download PDF