On October 24th, 1975, 90% of women in Iceland left work, to demonstrate the importance of women‘s contribution to society. This day was popularly called “kvennafrí”, or Women’s Day Off. In 1985, 25.000 women left their work again, to protest income inequality.
In 2005, Icelandic women celebrated Women’s Day Off for the third time, and tens of thousands of women left work the minute they stopped getting paid, at 2:08 p.m. In 2010 women in Iceland again left work, this time at 2:25 p.m.
In 2016, Icelandic women left work at 14.38. This means that women have gained only half an hour in eleven years, which is less than three minutes per year. If the progress continues at the same pace, Icelandic women won’t reach equal pay until 2068.
The official website of Kvennafrí, the women’s day off protests in Iceland. Information in English, including a link to raw video footage taken during the protests of 2016, free to use with attribution.
- Gender Pay Gap: Icelandic Women Take a Stand. Vera Kern. Deutsche Welle, Germany. 2016.
- Iceland Women’s Leave Work at 2.38pm to Protest Gender Pay Gap. Charlotte England. The Independent, United Kingdom. 2016.
- The Iceland Women’s Strike, 1975. Libcom.org. 2016.
- Why Thousands of Women in Iceland Walked Off the Job at 2.38pm. Eric March. UpWorthy, New York. 2016.
- Income Equality Now! Women in Iceland Walk Out. #Kvennafrí 2016. Kvenréttindafélag Íslands. 2016. A short film by Lea Ævarsdóttir depicting a mass demonstration for gender equality in Iceland in 2016.
- Women in Red Stockings. Halla Kristín Einarsdóttir. 2009. A documentary about the Red Stocking movement in Iceland 1970 – 1980, including the famous Women’s Day Off in 1975. Subtitles in English.
- Women’s Day Off – Reykjavík 2010. Halla Kristín Einarsdóttir. 2010. A short film by Halla Kristín Einarsdóttir depicting a mass demonstration for gender equality in Iceland in 2010.
- Kvennafrí 1975. Hrafnhildur Gunnarsdóttir. 2015. A short film by Hrafnhildur Gunnarsdóttir about the original women’s day off in 1975.
- Women’s Strike 2016. Video from the Facebook Page of Mbl.is.