Born 1947 in Copenhagen, Denmark. Lives and works in Copenhagen
Karen Jespersen was born in a working-class area of Copenhagen. She holds an MA in History and Archeology from the University of Copenhagen (1977). But she has worked as a journalist since 1974: in the beginning on the fortnightly Danish magazine, politisk revy, then on the Danish daily newspaper Information, and from 1984, on DR's (Danish Broadcasting Corporation) news as a political reporter. In 1990, she was elected to the Danish Parliament, representing the Social Democrats. In 1993, she became Minister for Social Affairs in Poul Nyrup Rasmussen's government. She continued as Social Minister with only a short break up until 2000, when she became Minister of the Interior, with responsibility for immigration and asylum policies. Jespersen has been a known voice in the societal debate since she was an active women's libber in 1970. She has written several books. The most recent book is entitled Til støtte for Fatima – indvandrernes omstilling til Danmark. It was published in November 2003 by Peoples Press and deals with the way immigration affects Danish society and how we can make immigration function better.
Contribution: Participates with the essay “A Community of Democratic Values” in Station 4: The Book.