Women's Day Off

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Women in Iceland have gone on a strike six times to protest gender inequality and the gender pay gap.

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 2.38 p.m., and in 2018, women left work at 2:55 p.m.

  • www.kvennafri.is
    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.
  • Women’s Day Off. Women’s History Archives.
    A historical overview of the women’s day off in 1975, 1985, 2005 and 2010, with photographs, published by the Icelandic Women’s History Archives.
  • The day the children came to the offices
    An article about the women’s day off in 1975. Written by Else Mia Einarsdóttir, a co-founder of the Women’s History Archieves in Iceland and chair of the Women´s Commemorative Fund and by. Gerður Steinþórsdóttir, a member of the Executive Committee for the Women’s Day Off in 1975.

VIDEO

  • 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.

The Icelandic Women’s Rights Association

The Icelandic Women’s Rights Association has fought for women’s rights and gender equality since 1907.

IWRA is a member of the International Alliance of Women and the European Women’s Lobby.

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