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Prime Minister's Office, Ministry for Foreign Affairs

Iceland hosts first activist led conference against gender-based violence in over 25 years

The Government of Iceland and city of Reykjavik will host the Reykjavik Dialogue and Conference, on August 16th-18th 2021. This three-day event will be the first conference led by international activists and survivors of gender-based violence since the Brighton conference in 1996 which was inspired by the 1976 International Tribunal on Crimes against Women.

While important gains in the fight against gender-based violence have been made over decades of activism, spurred on by powerful movements like #MeToo and #SayHerName, new forms of violence have also emerged. This event – which will be held both on-line and in person – will allow sharing, learning and produce a ‘Reykjavik Declaration’ on actions aimed to end violence against women and gender-based violence.

The outcome of this event will present a collective agenda for activism. Iceland will champion it through its membership of the Nordic Council of Ministers and the UN Women Action Coalition on Gender-Based violence.

The Reykjavik Dialogue has three objectives:

  • To strategise and shape activism against gender-based violence against women over the next five years.
  • To find common ground and ways of working together across borders and communities.
  • To enable collective, activist review of the outcomes and plans associated with the events of 2020, the 25th anniversary year of Beijing Platform of Action, led by inter-governmental organisations.

On hosting the conference, Katrín Jakobsdóttir, Iceland’s Prime Minister, said:

“Gender-based violence is one of the most persistent evils of our time. The Covid-19 pandemic has both revealed and increased the inequalities in our societies that put women and girls at risk. Given this, it is especially urgent to take action now.  And although Iceland leads the world in gender equality, we still have work to do to reach complete equality. We are pleased and honoured to host the Reykjavik Dialogue.”

Lining Zhang, a Law educator from China said:

“When our stories are told, we’ll see that we share common struggles. Let us create solidarity for global momentum towards a violence-free world.”

The Reykjavík Dialogue will be attended by representatives from activist organisations that fight violence against women and provide services for survivors. The in-person element of the conference, the Dialogue, will be hosted at the Harpa Conference Centre (Covid-19 conditions allowing). Financial support will be available to a number of participants, particularly from the global south.

The conference will be streamed publicly online. Activists and survivors will be able to share their stories ahead of the conference through video and photo submissions. Further details will be unveiled in February 2021.

For more information on the conference, please check the website: reykjavikdialogue.is or email: [email protected]


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