The island was governed as an independent commonwealth under the Althing, one of the world's oldest functioning legislative assemblies. Following a period of civil strife, Iceland acceded to Norwegian rule in the 13th century. The establishment of the Kalmar Union in 1397 united the kingdoms of Norway, Denmark, and Sweden. Iceland thus followed Norway's integration into that union, coming under Danish rule after Sweden's secession from the union in 1523. Although the Danish kingdom introduced Lutheranism forcefully in 1550, Iceland remained a distant semi-colonial territory in which Danish institutions and infrastructures were conspicuous by their absence. (Full article...)
A procession in Bankastræti in Reykjavík on July 7th 1915 to celebrate women's suffrage.
Women in Iceland generally enjoy good gender equality. As of 2018, 88% of working-age women were employed, 65% of students attending university were female, and 41% of members of parliament were women. Nevertheless, women still earn about 14% less than men, though these statistics do not take into account the hours worked, over-time, and choices of employment. Iceland has the world's highest proportion of women in the labour market, significant child care allocations for working women, and three months' parental leave for both men and women.
Iceland is arguably one of the world's most feminist countries, having been awarded this status in 2011 for the second year in a row. Iceland was the first country to have a female president, Vigdís Finnbogadóttir, elected in 1980. It also has the world's first female and openly gay head of government, Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, who was elected prime minister in 2009. (Full article...)
When we stop caring for our independence and are swept into some superpower’s ocean of nationhood, when the last old women who can recite an Icelandic verse is dead, then the world has become poorer. And the superpower who might have swallowed us would not be any the richer for it.
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