Iceland: women on one-day strike to protest against gender discrimination

Iceland: Tens of thousands of women went on a one-day strike yesterday to protest against gender discrimination.

The striking women were also joined by Prime Minister, Katrin Jakobsdóttir. She said the fight for equal treatment was moving far too slowly at home and abroad. Looking at the whole world, it could take 300 years to achieve gender equality,” Katrin added.

The strike was called to protest gaps in pay compared to men and gender-based violence, as well as to highlight unpaid work such as childcare that often falls on women, organisers said. According to the Icelandic Teachers’ Union, women make up the majority of teachers at every level of the educational system, including 94 percent of kindergarten teachers.

Across the small island nation, schools and libraries were closed or operated on limited hours as female staff stayed home, while hospitals said they would only handle emergency cases. The planned walkout marks the first full-day women’s strike since 1975. Around 90 percent of Iceland’s female workforce went on strike in 1975, seeking to highlight the importance of women to the economy.

Meanwhile, Iceland is widely considered to be a great place to be a woman, ranking number one in the World Economic Forum’s gender gap index for 14 years in a row.

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