On 24 October 1975, Icelandic women did not go to their paid jobs nor did they do any housework or child-rearing at home.
In 2018, Iceland made unequal pay for equal work illegal; companies and government agencies with over 25 employees face heavy fines. In 1968, the Arctic Ocean herring fishery collapsed as a direct result of overfishing. The once-plentiful Atlantic herring was on the verge of extinction, and Iceland’s economy took a sharp tumble. Fish processing plants were abandoned, boats sat idle in harbors and docks no longer hosted lively gatherings. But even as many herring girls returned to domestic duties, their impact on Icelandic politics and society continued to resonate.
- You know, the women’s shelter in Reykjavik was full and has been during the COVID pandemic.
- In January 2021, Iceland extended the parental leave system to 12 months from 10 months.
- Today, on International Women’s Day, we would like to take the opportunity to introduce you to five empowering women in Iceland.
- Though herring fishing had long been practiced in Iceland’s waters, the country’s herring era only began in forcein 1903, when Norwegian fishing fleets showed up with massive drift nets capable of capturing huge caches of herring.
Iceland’s record on all of these fronts is better than most countries; in the UK, women’s hourly pay is 18% less than men. Iceland celebrates its national women’s day or wife’s day, konnuirdagin, in February. https://parade.com/1249413/marynliles/tinder-pick-up-lines/ The day, which is centuries old, is marked by men taking the time to celebrate and dote on the women in their life. Katrín Jakobsdóttir, a member of the left-leaning Left-Green Movement, became Iceland’s second female prime minister. One of her actions as prime minister was to organise a new law which requires Icelandic companies to demonstrate that they pay men and women equally. She became a member of the Althing aged 31, the Minister of Education, Science and Culture at 33, and the leader of the Left-Green Movement at 37. Iceland became the third modern democratic country in which women gained the vote in 1915.
What is so interesting to me is that the Icelandic parliament discussed women’s suffrage more than once in the 19th century and most parliamentarians supported it. However, all bills that contained women’s suffrage were vetoed by Danish authorities. Those hot iceland girls bills also proposed changes in the relationship between countries as well. I was surprised at how progressive parliament was back about this topic.
Icelanders exercise more than people from any other European country
Bank executives had to work as tellers to keep the banks open because the female tellers had taken the day off. I could see that this interconnectedness of past and present informed Rakel’s work at the Women’s History Archive as well. The Archive was started by feminist activists and librarians in 1975, and was housed in the home of one of its founders, Anna Sigurðardóttir, until 1996, when it became a part of the National Library. From the start, the Archive had the support of Iceland’s women’s associations, and today the relationship between the Archive and women’s groups is still a central part of the Archive’s https://www.verywellfamily.com/what-is-snapchat-and-its-use-1270338 work. The subject fit so well into the theme of my podcast that I decided to do a special episode about women’s history in Iceland. You can listen to the episode on the player below or on Apple Podcasts, RadioPublic, Stitcher, and wherever else you get your podcasts. When I agreed to write about women’s history in Iceland for this blog, I’ll admit I didn’t really know too much about the subject.
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The Norwegian fleets brought jobs, too, from staffing fishing boats to building docks to salting herring for sale in markets across the world. TheInternational Women’s Strike, a global version inspired by the Icelandic strike, spread in 2017 and 2018. It’s not uncommon to find our gyms here packed out from 6am through to 8pm.
The strike was orchestrated to raise awareness of the important contributions of women in Icelandic society, and additionally, it spurred people to action . The women’s absence from the workplace and from the home for the day was a very effective method to bring awareness to all that women did . The following year, a law banning wage discrimination based upon gender was passed . Five years after the strike, Iceland’s first female president, Vigdis Finnbogadottir, was elected; in 1983, the Women’s Alliance, a new political party, won seats in the parliamentary election .
Looking back at the events of that day, she has reported remembering hearing children in the background of radio broadcasts, as fathers had brought their children with them to work. Iceland is yet to become the first country in the world with a majority women parliament. Currently, women hold 30 of the 63 seats in the Icelandic Parliament, following a recount in the 2021 election. In Iceland women are paid about 18% less than their male counterparts, if working in the same job with the same level of experience; for comparison, the average European wage gap is 16.2%. Excluding ranking, position, and hours worked, the average annual income for women is 28% less than men. At the current rate, women will not experience equal pay until 2068.
By a lot of measures, Iceland is the best place to be a woman. The country has not just one, but three, laws protecting women at work. That doesn’t fly in Iceland, where a law bans gender discriminatory advertising. Plus, the country was the first to ban strip clubs for feminist reasons. When I asked Rakel about the future of women’s history in Iceland, her first thought was not the future of an academic field; she instead shared her thoughts on the state of equality and activism today. The Icelandic government has pledged to close the gender pay gap by 2022.
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Some reports even state that Icelandic grocery stores ran out of hot dogs in response to the strike, as men tried to feed their hungry children. Iceland is arguably one of the world’s most feminist countries, having been awarded this status in 2011 for the second year in a row. Iceland was the first country to have a female president, Vigdís Finnbogadóttir, elected in 1980.
The Icelandic government has said it aims to close the gender pay gap in Iceland by 2022. In 1881, Iceland extended women’s rights in Iceland by allowing them to vote in local elections for the very first time.