The Shadow Pandemic: Sexual Rights in Times of Crisis

The Shadow Pandemic: Sexual Rights in Times of Crisis

Gaustadalleen 30D, room 420 -

How can research shed light on this pandemic and bring it out of its shadows? How can academia contribute to improved sexual rights globally?

One in every three women have been subjected to sexual violence at least once in their lifetime. This does not account for the 1 woman every 11 minutes who is killed by her partner (UNODC, 2020). LGBT+ people are also known to be disproportionately affected by sexual and gender-based violence.

This is a human rights violation that undermines health, dignity, security and autonomy and is described as an ongoing shadow pandemic. The book «Kvinnehelse i krisetid» [Women’s health in a time of crisis] by Kristine Bjartnes (Universitetsforlaget, 2023) argues for the importance of strengthening sexual rights to end the brutal violence that too many women and queer people experience.

This book gives a thorough introduction to sexual rights and how it is practiced in different parts of the world. Bjartnes demonstrates how the fight for female bodily autonomy continues to shape both national and international laws and practice. Bjartnes uses the recent Covid-19 pandemic as a magnifying glass to emphasize the continuous disregard for women’s sexual rights.


13:15 Welcome by Ibrahim Mursal, Sex og politikk

13:20 Introduction by Kristine Bjartnes

13:50 Panel talk: The role of research and academia to strengthen sexual rights and engage in ending sexual and gender-based violence.


Kristine Bjartnes, writer
Bassel Hatoum, adviser at the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights and former head of Skeiv Verden [Queer World]
Christiane Teigstad, STK student council
Ine Lind Skyrud, Sex og politikk/SNU

The conversation will be moderated by Henriette Johnstone, SAIH

14:30 Closing comments

14:45 End of program and mingle

About the speaker
Kristine Sommerset Bjartnes currently lives in New York where she works on sexual and reproductive health and rights. Bjartnes has formerly been the head of the international team in Sex og Politikk and was the deputy leader in Norwegian Students’ and Academics’ International Assistance Fund (SAIH).

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This event is co-organized by Sex og politikk, the Centre for Gender Research at UiO, SAIH, and the STK student council.