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03 December 2007

Swedes lose battle to bathe topless

Don't expect to see this in SwedenSwedish women who want to go topless on beaches and in swimming pools have lost their legal battle to strip off.

The case, taken by two women who were barred from baring at a public pool, has been rejected by the country's equality watchdog.

They wanted to be given the right to bathe topless, and claimed women were victims of discrimination.

However, Anne-Marie Bergstrom, the equal opportunities ombudsman, scuppered the plea by dropping this bombshell: 'There is a physical difference between a woman's upper body and that of a man.'

She added: 'There is also a great difference between how people in general perceive men's and women's bodies.

'It is therefore hard to maintain that [the topless women] were in a comparable situation to men who bathed with naked upper bodies.'

The case has sparked widespread debate in Sweden, and led to the formation of the Bara Bradiost, or the Just Breasts campaign.

One of the women who brought the case, 22-year-old Ragnhild Karlsson, said: 'Of course we are disappointed. I think it's sad that society is the way it is - that men don't have to cover their upper bodies but women do.'

Although she rejected the case, the ombudsman maintained it was important that the issue had been raised.

'The case has achieved a lot of attention and it is good that we can have a discussion about unequal rules for the bodies of men and women,' she said.

Despite the setback, Ms Karlsson says the campaign will still continue through 'political means'.

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1 comments: on "Swedes lose battle to bathe topless"

Anonymous said...

i am not from canada, but , in my country we cover women because their body is attractive more than men. Thus, to limit the sexual crimes, we have to cover women bodies.
in other side, men already they cover their bodies , since , they know that their bodies without clothes are ugly