Iceland’s prime minister goes on strike over ‘gender equality’ and ‘wage gap’ — listed World Economic Forum meetings as a solution

News & Politics

Icelandic Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdóttir went on strike to protest gender discrimination and stated the country is still fighting for gender quality.

A nationwide “women’s strike” protest was meant to call out pay discrimination, gendered violence, and inequality between the sexes in general. The demonstrations marked the first time the entire country had participated in a day of absence in the workplace since 1975.

“We have not yet reached our goals of full gender equality and we are still tackling the gender-based wage gap, which is unacceptable in 2023,” Jakobsdóttir said, according to Fox News.

“I will not work this day, as I expect all the women [in cabinet] will do as well,” Jakobsdóttir added.

The widely debunked theory of a gender pay gap supposes that men and women earn the same amount of money for doing the exact same work. Total earnings often show a difference between genders without factoring in work hours, profession, or time lapses in a career.

The gap is quite small in Iceland, at about 10%, compared to the United States, where women earn 83 cents for every dollar a man earns, a figure that has barely moved in two decades.

Iceland consistently ranks at the top of equality indexes, however, including at the World Economic Forum where Jakobsdóttir wrote an article in 2017 boasting the country’s gender successes.

Listed a WEF “agenda contributor,” the prime minister noted that Iceland still has work to do while lauding the country’s parental care and child leave programs. Of course, she also listed the WEF’s “Women Leaders Global Forum” as a “part of the solution.”

“This unique forum” allows female leaders to “share ideas and solutions that help build better societies and promote gender equality,” she said.

Jakobsdóttir’s past comments typically side with left-wing feminist talking points, including that she was “gravely disappointed and heartbroken” to see the U.S. Supreme Court overturn Roe v. Wade in 2022.

In 2020, the Icelandic leader said that in regard to “rebuilding and reimagining societies after COVID-19,” it was crucial to keep “gender & racial equality, democracy & social justice at the forefront.”

In March 2023 she complained of gender bias in algorithms based on the fact that they are mostly designed by men.

“We have a data gap on women and if the algorithms are mainly designed by men, we need to do everything we can to ensure that new technologies make our world more equal,” she wrote on her X account.

After former New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern stepped down, Jakobsdóttir said that the socialist would be “missed on the world stage” and was a “powerful role model for women & girls worldwide.”

Ardern left office mainly due to backlash over hard COVID-19 restrictions. While in power she often refused to take questions from the media and boasted about the harshness of her rules.

“We are still tackling gender-based violence, which has been a priority for my government to tackle,” Jakobsdóttir said during her protest.

Her cabinet has maintained an equal number of men and women.

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