Gender Inequality: Icelandic Women On 24-Hour Strike

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On Tuesday, Icelandic women went on a 24-hour strike to protest against gender inequality. Even the Prime Minister joined the protest and said that equal treatment for women was moving too slowly in Iceland and around the world. As a result of the strike, schools, libraries and some hospitals had limited hours, only handling emergency cases.


The protest was organized to highlight the gender pay gap, gender-based violence, and the unpaid work that women are usually burdened with, such as childcare. Organizers of the protest said that while Iceland is considered one of the world’s most progressive countries in terms of gender equality, there is still a lot of work to be done. According to Statistics Iceland, women in some industries and professions still earn at least 20% less than their Icelandic male counterparts.


A University of Iceland study also found that 40% of Icelandic women experience gender-based and sexual violence during their lifetime. The strike’s slogan, “Do you call this equality?”, was aimed at raising awareness around the fact that even though Iceland is known as an equality paradise, there are still significant gender disparities in the country.


The strike was the first full-day strike by women in Iceland since the inaugural women’s protest in 1975. Freyja Steingrimsdottir, the communications director for the Icelandic Federation for Public Workers and one of the strike organizers, said that female-led professions such as healthcare services and childcare are still undervalued and much lower paid.

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