Animal Liberation Front Claims Theft of Animals in Sweden

The Animal Liberation Front issued a release claiming that it on May 19 stole several hundred rats, mice and 20 chickens from a facility in Uppsala, Sweden, that bred the animals for medical research purposes.

According to the ALF release,

After the animals had been liberated, as much damage as possible were done: slogans sprayed all over the building and on vehicles outside, cages were destroyed, paint was poured over the floors and walls and other damage was done as well as documents taken.

Source:

Hundreds of animals liberated by Swedish ALF. Press Release, Animal Liberation Front, May 2004.

Norway Proposes to Set Quotas for Women on Corporate Boards

Norwegian legislator Laila Daavoey has introduced a bill that would require Norway’s top 600 companies or so to create a quota system for filling board positions. Comapnies that fail to fill at least 40 percent of their corporate board positions by 2005 would face financial penalties begining in 2007.

This follows an announcement in November by Sweden’s Vice Prime Minister Margareta Winberg that Sweden would begin taking action against companies that failed to increase female representation on their corporate boards from the curretn 8 percent to 25 percent by 2004.

Daavoey offered up a saying which she apparently highlights the need for such drastic actions, but actualy does a nice job of pointing out the idiocy of such quota systems. According to Daavoey,

There will not be equality until you have incompetent women in the boardroom.

That certainly is a lofty goal worth fighting for.

Maggie Gallagher had a better comment on this proposed regimen in an op-ed,

In Europe, it appears that in the name of democracy, elites are pursuing an autocratic centralized power, seeking economic control and social regimentation. They seem to have no hesitation about using the law to forcibly suppress opposition. Call it Eurofascism, lite. Only they call it democracy.

Sources:

Norway eyes law to shatter glass ceiling. Lizette Alvarez, Contra-Costa Times, July 18, 2003.

Eurofascism, Lite. Maggie Gallagher, Yahoo.Com, July 15, 2003.

Honor Killings Come to Sweden

As the daughter of Kurdish refugees from Turkey, 26-year-old Fadime Sahindal had to balance the traditional beliefs of her family with the ideas she was exposed to in Sweden. After four years of harassment from family members who were angry that she dated a white Swedish boy and was pursuing higher education, her father shot her execution style as she was preparing to leave on a trip to Kenya.

Several years ago, Sahindal was in the news in Sweden over her boyfriend. After her father ordered her to stop seeing the boy, Sahindal’s father and 17-year-old brother threatened to kill her. Sahindal went to court seeking protection, and her father received a fine and a suspended sentence.

Sahindal had been living in Sweden under an assumed name, but her father managed to track her down. Sahindal had gone to her sister’s house to say goodbye before her trip to Kenya, where her father shot her dead.

According to The Daily Telegraph, spokesmen for the Kurdish community in Sweden were “generally understanding of a patriarch’s dilemma in dealing with changing family values in a liberal country.”

The Telegraph quoted Kamaran Shwan, chairman of the Kurdish association in the town of Malmo as saying, “If a girl goes out with a boy without being married then she’s a whore.”

Source:

Protests over father’s ‘execution’ of daughter. Julian Isherwood, The Daily Telegraph (UK), January 29, 2002.

Sweden may subject women to the draft

Yesterday the Christian Science Monitor reported (“Equality may mean Army service in Sweden“) that Sweden is considering extending its military draft to women. Israel is currently the only nation in the world that drafts women as well a men (although women are not drafted into combat positions).

Rather than maintain a standing professional army, as nations such as the United States does, Sweden tests all 18-year old men for military aptitude and then requires about 40 percent of them to undergo military training. After the training the men are part of the nation’s military reserve until age 47. Women can choose to join the military as well, but it is not required.

According to the Monitor, men in countries with military drafts are beginning to file lawsuits against military drafts that exclude women. In Germany, for example, men have filed a sex discrimination suit against that nation’s military policy. As a National Organization for Women spokesperson tells the newspaper, the United States’ male-only draft registration requirement would almost certainly be found unconstitutional by today’s Supreme Court.

Ironically, although Sweden is probably at the vanguard of governments creating programs to enforce sexual equality, many of them not very well thought out, most women are definitely not in favor of a gender-neutral draft. According to the Monitor, 70 percent of Swedish women oppose the measure. Apparently many women in Sweden share the view that military service is a uniquely masculine role.

I believe military drafts are immoral, in general, but military drafts that do exist should be gender neutral. Morever, gender should not be used to exclude women from combat positions. If a person meet the objective qualifications to fulfill a military position, whether or not that person is male or female should never enter into the equation. The military should set a single standard that have to be met for positions and ignore irrelevant characteristics such as race and sex when making personnel decisions. Unfortunately, this is a position even too radical for NOW which, like many feminist thinkers and organizations, maintains that men and women need to have “separate but equal standards” for physical fitness and other criteria used to evaluate a soldier’s fitness.