Monday, October 25, 2010

Being a lady is an attitude. ~Chuck Woolery, Love Connection

Have I mentioned that I love this country? October 24th (25th this year) is Kvennafrídagurinn, or Womens' Day Off, where ladies all over the country leave work early to protest the gender pay gap that is still present in Iceland and elsewhere. You get to leave work at 2.25pm instead of 4pm, this percentage.of the work day is the same as the percentage difference in pay between men and women. I can't say I've ever worked in a job where I've encountered a pay gap like that, but it's important to be aware!

Apparently during the first one in 1975, the country pretty much came to a standstill - no one was sure how many women would participate, but it turns out most of them did. Yay Icelandic feminists.

Last night there was a program on TV about Vigdís Finnbogadóttir, who was the first female president of Iceland in 1980, and the first woman in the world to be democratically elected as head of state. I didn't watch it last night, but Amma taped it, and I saw a pretty interesting interview from the presidential campaigns in the eighties. The news dudes asked about 'whether the presidency is really a two person job, as the first lady generally plays a pretty important role in welcoming other leaders, hosting events and accompanying her husband on trips around Iceland and abroad...'

The three other presidential candidates all agreed and said it was important to have a housewife helping out with official functions and whatnot.
Vigdís said that although she didn't have a wife and was unlikely to get one anytime soon, she felt pretty sure that she could somehow manage to get everything done. And that if a travelling partner was required, she had an eight year old daughter who would be perfect for the job.
Argh, I haven't phrased it that well, but it was just a really cool, collected and obvious answer to a stupid, dated question.

So yeah. Iceland, home of awesome ladies. And also, me!


Vicki said...

You are pretty awesome yourself!

Gill Omega said...

Got beaten to the comment :) Pay inequality is atrocious, and all-pervasive! Have a nice early afternoon.

northern musings said...

Another quote from Vigdís from yesterday was that Það á ekki að kjósa mig af því að ég er kona. Það á að kjósa mig af því að ég er maður. -Vigdís Finnbogadóttir "You shouldn´t vote for me because I am a woman, you should vote for me because I am a man" (man/human = same word)

olga said...

Haha, thank you lovely ladies.

Amazing quote, Sigga. She might be my new hero!