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Gender equality concept

Iceland Supports Big Women’s Strike

On October 24, 2023, Iceland’s Prime Minister, Katrín Jakobsdóttir, joined thousands of women in a huge nationwide strike called “Women’s Day Off” or “Kvennafrí.” This was all about fighting for women to have equal rights and opportunities in Iceland.

business colleagues with male and female signs on scales of justice, gender equality concept

What’s the History Behind This?

Back in 1975, Icelandic women protested because they were tired of not getting paid the same as men and facing other challenges just because they were women. Now, almost 50 years later, women in Iceland are still fighting for total equality.

On the day of the strike, lots of places like schools, libraries, and even some banks closed down. Hospitals only took care of emergencies. The message was: Women’s rights are super important.

What Did the Prime Minister Do?

Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir didn’t do her regular job that day. She was out supporting the strike. And guess what? All the women who work in her office did the same. In a radio chat, she mentioned that, looking at the whole world, we might have to wait 300 years to see true gender equality. That’s too long, right?

A man shakes a woman's hand, gender equality

Who Else Supported the Strike?

Lots of groups supported the strike. This includes unions, nurses, and even the Icelandic Ministry of Foreign Affairs. They remembered how women in 1975 did something similar and how it led to Iceland getting its first female president.

Is Iceland Good at Gender Equality?

According to the World Economic Forum, Iceland is the top country for treating men and women equally. They’ve been number one for 14 years in a row. But the strike wanted to highlight that immigrant women in Iceland still face challenges.

The Prime Minister’s team has a plan: no more pay gap between men and women by 2022. That means both get paid the same for the same job.

The Big Takeaway

This huge strike in Iceland tells the world that the fight for equal rights isn’t over. The action by Iceland’s Prime Minister and all the women shows what can happen when people come together to demand change. It’s a big deal, and the world is watching and getting inspired. In simple words: Iceland’s women are saying, “We want equality now,” and they’re setting a cool example for everyone.

male and female symbols on scales on wooden table on grey, gender equality concept

FAQ about Iceland’s Women’s Strike for Equal Rights

1. What was the “Women’s Day Off” or “Kvennafrí”?

  • It was a massive nationwide strike in Iceland where women demanded equal rights and opportunities. It happened on October 24, 2023.

2. Why did Icelandic women first protest in 1975?

  • Women in Iceland protested against not getting paid the same as men and facing discrimination. They wanted equal rights.

3. How did the Prime Minister show her support?

  • Iceland’s Prime Minister, Katrín Jakobsdóttir, didn’t do her regular job on the strike day. Instead, she joined the strike. All the women in her office also supported the strike.

4. Did any other organizations support the strike?

  • Yes, many groups like unions, nurses, the Icelandic Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and others backed the strike.

5. What’s the World Economic Forum’s ranking about?

  • The World Economic Forum ranks countries based on how equally they treat men and women. Iceland has been number one for 14 years straight.

6. Is there still a pay gap in Iceland?

  • While Iceland is leading in gender equality, the strike emphasized that there’s more work to do. However, the Prime Minister’s team is aiming to end the pay gap by 2022.

7. Why was the 2023 strike significant for immigrant women?

  • The strike highlighted that immigrant women in Iceland face specific challenges. Their contributions often aren’t acknowledged as much as they should be.

8. What’s the global impact of this strike?

  • The strike in Iceland sends a powerful message worldwide that the fight for gender equality is vital. Other countries can look at Iceland as an example and be inspired to make changes.

Sources CNN