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International Cooperation and Commitments

Nordic Cooperation

In 1974, the Nordic Council of Ministers decided that each government would appoint someone to maintain contact with the other governments on gender equality issues. The Nordic countires progress towards a more gender-equal society been constant ever since and International studies regularly rank the Nordic countries among the most gender-equal in the world.

Inter-governmental work on gender equality is conducted by the Nordic Council of Ministers for Gender Equality and LGBTI (MR-JÄM), which consists of the national ministers responsible for gender equality as well as the Nordic Committee of Senior Officials for Gender Equality and LGBTI (ÄK-JÄM), which consists of representatives of the five nation states plus Greenland, the Faroe Islands and Åland. The Nordic Cooperation on gender equality is based on a programme on gender equality set every four years. The current programme for 2019-2022 has four focus areas: Future of work and economic growth; Welfare, health and quality of life; Power and influence; Gender equality with focus on men and masculinities.

Internationally, the Nordic countries have long been progressive in the LGBTI area, but despite the fact that some legislation is in place, there are still many challenges to address before LGBTI people obtain equal opportunities and rights. In 2020, the Nordic Ministers for Gender Equality initiated a formal co-operation, under the Nordic Council of Ministers, on equal treatment and equal rights for LGBTI people in the Nordic region by adopting a supplement to Nordic Cooperation Programme on Gender Equality 2019-2022. The supplements is called Equal rights, treatment and opportunities for LGBTI people in the Nordic region and has three focus areas: Freedom and openness, quality of life and living conditions, and networks and civil society

Nordic Information on Gender (NIKK) is a Nordic cooperation body under the Nordic Council of Ministers. NIKK‘s project is to collect and disseminate knowledge about politics and practice, facts and research in the area of gender equality in a Nordic perspective.

European Cooperation

Iceland participates as an observer in the EU Advisory Committee on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men. The advisory committee gathers twice a year in Brussels where ongoing work on individual directives regarding gender equality, upcoming conferences, and focus issues of the next presidency are introduced, among other issues.

Iceland also has a representative in EFTAs Working Group on Gender Equality, Anti-discrimination and Family Policy. Meetings are generally held twice a year in Brussels, usually in relation to the advisory committee (The EU Advisory Committee on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men) meetings.

Iceland is a member of the Council of Europe Gender Equality Commission. Iceland will chair the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe from November 2022 to May 2023.

The Commission of the Status of Women

Iceland is obliged to submit regular reports to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Woman on how the rights of the Convention are implemented. The Committee is a body of independent experts that monitors implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.

Generation Equality Forum

The Generation Equality Forum aims to deliver concrete and transformative change for women and girls around the world. Five years after global leaders agreed to the Sustainable Development Goals, progress on goal five on gender equality lags behind progress on other goals.

The Generation Equality Forum was established on the occasion of 25th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women and the adoption of its landmark outcome, the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.

Iceland is among the UN Member States chosen to lead one of the UN Women Generation Equality Forum Action Coalitions. Iceland will lead the Action Coalition on gender-based violence along with Kenya, the United Kingdom, and Uruguay.


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