Reykjavik, Iceland —
Iceland’s prime minister and women in the volcanic island nation went on strike on Tuesday (24/10) to push for an end to the wage gap and gender-based violence. Thousands of women joined the demonstration Tuesday afternoon.
The writings protested against the notion that Iceland had become a paradise for women. For example, “You call this gender equality?”
The Icelandic trade union, the main organizer of the strike, called on women and non-binary people to refuse paid and unpaid work, including domestic work, on that day. About 90% of Icelandic workers belong to trade unions.
Schools and health systems, which have a predominantly female workforce, said they would be particularly hard hit by the strike. National broadcaster RUV said it was reducing TV and radio broadcast hours that day.
Tuesday’s strike, which lasted from midnight until midnight the following night, was said to be the biggest since the first such action in Iceland on October 24 1975. At that time, 90% of women refused to work, clean the house or care for children, to express their anger. against discrimination in the workplace.
In 1976, Iceland ratified a law guaranteeing equal rights regardless of gender.
The World Economic Forum ranked Iceland, an island of around 380,000 people just below the Arctic Circle, as the most gender-equal country in the world for 14 consecutive years. The forum measures salary, education, health care and other factors.
No country has yet achieved full equality. Gender pay gaps are still found in Iceland. (ka/lt)