IceFemIn - Icelandic Feminist Initiative
IceFemIn - Icelandic Feminist Initiative - is a movement founded in 2017 by Icelandic women who have been active feminists for many years and who have a broad experience in politics and activism, especially by founding, shaping and working within and for The Women’s Alliance (Kvennalistinn). We think it is high time we share our experience of founding a new political movement and tell the story of how initially a handful of women in Iceland managed to make themselves heard and initiated a fundamental change in their society. It was not easy, but it brought about the joy of sisterhood and empowerment. By telling our story and the story of the successes of women’s movements in Iceland, we hope to inspire other women and encourage them to take feminist initiatives in their own societies.
The Women’s Alliance managed to bring women’s issues into the limelight and change the political debate permanently. It put on the agenda women’s concerns and issues that had never been brought up in Parliament before, such as domestic and sexual violence against women and children, pornography and rights of homosexuals. At its’ initiative the first Emergency Reception Center for victims of sexual violence and a shelter for women were established. Among the bills issued was one proposing a longer maternity leave as well as suggesting a special paternity leave for men. As pacifists The Women’s Alliance wanted to disband military alliances, eliminate nuclear weapons and implement peace education. Environmental issues played a big role in the agenda of The Alliance, and its representatives in Parliament presented the first bill on a ministry of environment.
Everyone knows that humankind faces threatening problems such as increasing inequalities within societies and between nations, poverty, not least of women, accumulation of wealth, owned by men, expanding weapon industries, big corporations and climate change. It is more evident than ever, that women have to take the active role of „doers” both in private and public life, creating a new world true to their own values, heart and mind.
IceFemIn offers talks, workshops, seminars, participation in conferences, consultations and assistance with developing strategies and strengthening women’s movements and co-organizing different kinds of events. Our purpose is to empower women, inspire them and encourage them to improve their situation and development in the society towards gender equality.
Key persons involved:
Kristín Ástgeirsdóttir historian and activist, Kristín Jónsdóttir historian and writer, Sigrún Jóhannesdóttir education consultant