CPH Post


Helle Thorning-Schmidt burned troll for gender equality

Denmark's female prime minister spoke out against sexism in her annual midsummer speech

Both men and women are burned at the stake when Helle Thorning-Schmidt holds the torch (Photo: Scanpix)

June 24, 2014

by Andreas Jakobsen

If the Danish midsummer ritual of burning witches seems a little too gender-biased for you, the prime minister has got your back.

In her annual Sankt Hans Aften speech at Marienborg on Monday, Helle Thorning Schmidt, Denmark’s first and so far only female prime minister, decided to make a call for gender equality by burning both a male troll and female witch on the bonfire.

"The thing is that I have had second thoughts about always sending off a witch. Why does it have to be a woman? We therefore have both a troll and a witch this year. That should settle the account," Thorning-Schmidt said in her speech.

Speech celebrating unity
In her speech, she also praised the unity she claimed has helped Denmark out of the financial crisis.

In the end, she lit the bonfire with a torch and sent the rag dolls off to Bloksbjerg in Germany, where legend says the witches will end up.

The former prime minister, Lars Løkke Rasmussen, began the tradition of making a Sankt Hans Aften speech at Marienborg outside Copenhagen in 2010.  

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