Iceland has been awarded the Womenomics Honorary Award for its contribution to gender equality. Gudlaugur Thór Thórdarson, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Iceland, received the award for Iceland’s position as the global front-runner when it comes to gender equality, during the international business conference The Womenomics Nordic Business Conference.
The sixth annual Womenomics conference was held at Tivoli's Concert Hall on the 21st of May, 2019. More than 500 local and international business leaders, experts, 37 speakers and the Nordic Council of Ministers met and debated topical research, solutions and company cases.Iceland received Womenomics Honorary Award for its “uncompromising quest for gender equality.” This is the first time a country or its people is granted the Womenomics Honorary Award.
Foreign Minister Thórdarson accepted the award on behalf of the Government of Iceland. In his speech, Thórdarson thanked the women’s movement and women pioneers in Iceland for their relentless work and determination, in particular former President of Iceland, Vigdís Finnbogadóttir, the world’s first democratically elected female head of state. “We need good role models, we need success stories and we need to protect and promote women’s human rights and the empowerment of women internationally. It is also my strong believe that the inclusion of men is essential. If men are largely missing from the debate on equality, we are playing with only half the team,“ Foreign Minister Thórdarson said in his speech.
Thórdarson also gave a speech at a Barbershop event held in conjunction to the Womenomics Nordic Business Conference. “If we want to close the gap, we need to change social norms. We must ensure equal opportunities and an equal chance to make the most of them, regardless of gender,“ Foreign Minister Thórdarson said.
The purpose of the Barbershop talks is to motivate men and boys to commit to upholding gender equality and discuss how men can become agents of change. The first Barbershop event was co-convened by the UN and the permanent representations of Iceland and Suriname to the UN, held at the United Nations in New York in January 2015. Since then some 2400 people, within organizations such as ILO, WTO, NATO, OSCE, the European Parliament, OECD, the World Bank Group and the Icelandic Parliament have participated in Barbershops.