Iceland is the most feminist country in the world and also one of the happiest. This is no coincidence.
Iceland has the best gender equality record in the world. In the World Economic Forum’s recently-released Global Gender Gap Report 2014, Iceland topped the ranking of the world’s nations with the smallest gender gap for the sixth year in a row. Iceland ranked first in many categories including political empowerment; educational attainment; economic participation and opportunity; and health and survival. For every man enrolled in university, there are 1.7 women. There are two women for every three men in parliament.
Iceland’s high female engagement in its labour force is one of the reasons the economy continues to perform well. In Iceland, 71% of women and 77% of men work, according to World Bank data for 2013.
There are reasons for this and the reasons will surprise you. Women’s equality has been on the forefront of the country’s political, economical and social landscape for more than 150 years.
- Iceland became the first country in the world to grant unconditional equal inheritance rights to men and women in 1850.
- Women got the right to vote in 1915, five years before the United States.
- In 1975, 90% of the country’s female citizens went on a nationwide strike for economic equality and some 25,000 women rallied at a protest in the capital city Reykjavik. The country came to a standstill and the men could barely cope, between child-rearing and work. One year later, parliament passed a law guaranteeing equal pay for women.
- In 1980, Iceland elected Vigdís Finnbogadóttir as president, making her both Iceland’s and Europe’s first female president. She was re-elected thrice before retiring in 1996, the same year the country legalized gay civil unions.
- In 2000, the country passed a law giving equal parental leave: three months for each parent with an additional three months to split between them. The law was amended in 2012, to a 5-2-5 policy, where each parent is entitled to five months leave with an additional two months to share.
- In 2009, Iceland elected the world’s first openly lesbian head of state and their first female Prime Minister, Jóhanna Sigurdardóttir.
- In 2010, it became first country in the world to ban stripping, prostitution and lapdancing to send the message across that women or people in general are not for sale.
- In 2015, the country embraced the #FreeTheNipple movement, when outraged feminists across Iceland, men and women alike, took to Twitter to desexualize breasts in the fight for gender equality.
This is a sexually liberal country that clearly values women.
You want to support Anonymous Independent & Investigative News? Please, follow us on Twitter: Follow @AnonymousNewsHQ