Early Tuesday morning this week, Drottninggatan in Stockholm changed its name to Lise Fougstedts gata in order to shed light on violence towards women.
“When we talk about women’s vulnerability in society, we often think of women in other countries, forgetting that it is a reality for many even in Sweden,” said Åsa Lundegård, editor-in-chief at the magazine Amelia, the driving force behind the name change. Lise Fougstedt was a mother who was murdered by her husband last year. Lundegård felt it was important to put a name in focus, not just reiterate numbers. “That’s the core of this campaign, to give names to the women in the statistics. Otherwise, the discussion ends up being about the number of reported incidents of abuse, and whether or not the increase has to do with the fact that more people are inclined to report. It gets very clinical. In reality these women are also mothers, daughters, and sisters,” Ludnegård said.
The name change occurred in connection with a seminar at the Riksdag (the Swedish parliament) on how to put a stop to violence against women. A seminar that the editorial staff at Amelia didn’t feel was visible enough, which is how the name change came about.
“I think we managed to get up 30 name-plates before we were stopped by guards from Securitas. They were very friendly but felt it was time for us to quit.” When asked what kind of reactions the campaign has received, Lundegård said the reactions were positive, and that many readers and journalists got back to her and the rest of the staff. In Västerås and Malmö female victims were also honored; stickers with names were put up in the streets.