This is the second text with a very similar headline and reason, coming from the same media in a single month. The text is about processed data from Northern Europe related to rape of women, i.e. sexual harassment of female minors. We have no doubt about the authenticity of the presented content for Sweden, though there should be at least one more source (given that this is not a classic interview with the person providing the information). However, the method of connecting this information to the situation in Macedonia is extremely suspicious. The purpose is to leave an impression that it’s safer here and to send the following message (no matter how groundless it is): Don’t go to Sweden, especially not if you are accompanied by a female.
Link to the original article: И за средношколките е подобро на сиромашниот југ
[The poor south is better for girls in high school, too: Every fifth girls in Sweden was sexually harassed]
Date and time of publication: 20.08.2014, 18:44
Review date: 22.08.2014
Reviewer: Љубомир Костовски
“The recently released report of the Swedish NGO ‘Friends’ indicates that every fifth girl in the Swedish high schools was sexually harassed in some way. According to the results from the survey conducted across the whole country, only 11 percent of students in the primary schools and 15 percent of high school students have been subjected to sexual harassment, and the difference is that high school girls were subjected to this kind of harassment twice as much, compared to the boys in their schools. As “Friends” already reported, every fifth girl and every tenth boy were sexually harassed”.
IMPRESSION OF THE PRINCIPALS
The author says that this data was presented to the media by the general secretary of “Friends”, Lars Arrhenius, who added that his country has serious issues when it comes to this topic. The author also says that we should not doubt this, especially if we take into consideration how serious the Swedish institutions are, but the comparison is extremely problematic. Namely, there is no “material” about the situation with sexual harassment in Macedonia?!
In our country, as the author herself admits, “there has been no research as the one in Sweden“, but she still compares based on free interpretation of the situations with two high school principals – one from the Musical High School and the other from the “Josip Broz Tito” (JBT) gymnasium to “try and get a general impression of whether this problem exists or not” (!).
Both interlocutors say they are not aware of such a problem in their schools, which is almost expected to be their response – the principal of JBT says there have been no complaints (does that mean that there really isn’t any sexual harassment or is it being treated completely different in Macedonia, for example), whereas the second principal says that his students think about other things (!) – for example, mastering a music piece – so they probably dodge puberty.
And in this – totally inappropriate – statistic “setting“, conclusions are being drawn from the title, according to which “The poor south is better for girls in high school“, with the term “poor” serving perhaps as a “spiritual condom” when it comes to this phenomenon.
This is not an accidental text, it is in fact the second article in the series of articles on the topic of: “Swedish deviations – our safe(r) conditions”, which is indicated by the first article published in the same media on August 8, titled “The poor south is better for women“, where another author, referring to the statement of the same source in Sweden, concluded that “Sweden has 14 times more rape cases than Macedonia.” First, there is no explanation about the phenomenon of different treatments about what rape is (let us recall the Assange case, where this difference was obvious) in Sweden and in most of the Western legal systems.
The author has a second source – Yearbook of the United Nations – which is good, and in terms of our country there is only a brief conversation with Mirjana Jovanovska–Stojanovska, psychologist and psychotherapist. And, indicatively, her responses clearly indicate that in Macedonia, victims are afraid to report sexual violence and we virtually have no knowledge of how many people were victims in one year. This is especially true for women who are raped in an apartment of a friend, acquaintance, etc., because the victims subconsciously blame themselves for entering someone else’s apartment, and probably suspect that nobody, not even the law will recognize this as an involuntary sexual intercourse because it happened behind a locked door!
Then why is the author taking the liberty to make such comparisons, implying that girls and women should be watched over if they go to the “rich, but immoral Sweden.” We may be poorer and we may not have jobs, but at least we have honor! – is the moral of both articles.
This review was created within the framework of the USAID Media Strengthening in Macedonia Project - Media Fact-Checking Service Component,, mplemented by Metamorphosis. The review is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents are the responsibility of its author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Metamorphosis, USAID or the United States Government. For more information on the work of USAID in Macedonia please visit its website (http://macedonia.usaid.gov) and Facebook page (www.facebook.com/USAIDMacedonia).
the accuracy of allegations cannot be determined
SOURCES OF INFORMATION
sources are presented
cannot be determined
spinning the truth
cannot be determined
distinguished from the facts
author is attributed
has a photograph
neither manipulating nor informing - serves as an illustration
author (source) is not attributed
no hate speech
doesn't encourage violence
EDITED FOR THE WEB
low quality multimedia elements
has no contextual links
not connected with tags