On 24 October 1975, the women of Iceland refused to show up for work. They refused to cook, clean or look after their children. Basically, they went on strike. And that day, the shops in Iceland ran out of the only convenience food available at the time: sausages.
Call it symbolism, but by going on strike the women of Iceland were calling for men to respect their work and demanding equal pay.
This week Iceland became the first country in the world to make companies prove they are not paying women less than men for the same work. Employers are rushing to comply with the new rules to avoid fines.
Companies and government agencies with more than 25 staff must obtain government certification of their equal pay policies.
On the ‘women’s day off’, as it’s known, 90% of women stopped work and refused to do any household chores
Iceland has long been deemed the best place in the world to be a woman.
For the past nine years, the country has topped the World Economic Forum’s gender equality index; the UK comes in at 15th.
In Iceland men get at least three months’ paternity leave, and 90% of them take it. This gives them time to become comfortable with child-rearing, encouraging them to share the workload with their partners.
Women in Iceland are highly educated, a high percentage hold managerial positions and they don’t give up their careers to have children: they do both.