Iceland is considered one of the world’s most progressive countries in terms of gender equality and has topped the World Economic Forum’s gender gap index for 14 years in a row
Women in Iceland are on a 24-hour strike today to protest gender inequality, including the Prime Minister, which stated that the battle for equal treatment is moving too slowly both in her country and abroad.
Across the small island nation, schools and libraries either remained closed or operated limited hours as female staff went on strike, while hospitals announced they would only accept emergencies.
Prime Minister Katrin Jacobsdottir said she was joining the protest and he won’t go to work today.
“If you look at the whole world, it may take 300 years to achieve gender equality,” Jacobsdottir told public radio station Ras 1.
The strike was called to protest the gap between women’s and men’s wages, against gender-based violenceas well as to highlight the unpaid work women do, such as childcare, which often falls to them, organizers of the rally said.
Iceland is considered one of the most progressive countries in the world in terms of gender equality and for 14 years in a row it has topped the World Economic Forum’s gender gap index.
However, in some industries and professions, women earn at least 20% less than men in Iceland, according to Statistics Iceland.
Forty percent of Icelandic women experience gender-based and sexual violence in their lifetimeaccording to a study by the University of Iceland.
“We want to draw attention to the fact that we call ourselves a paradise of equality, but there are still gender inequalities and an urgent need for action,” said Freyja Stingrimsdóttir, one of the strike organizers and communications director of the Icelandic Civil Servants Federation.
Today’s “You Call This Equality?” strike involving women and non-binary people in Iceland is the first full-day strike since a first women’s protest mobilization in 1975.
“Professions with more women, such as health care services and childcare, are still undervalued and paid much less,” Steingrimsdottir told Reuters on Monday.
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