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Iceland’s PM One of World’s Foremost Feminists?

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Iceland’s PM One of World’s Foremost Feminists?

Sigmundur Davið Gunnlaugsson

Photo: Páll Stefánsson.

According to the Financial Times, Prime Minister of Iceland Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson is among the world’s foremost male feminists. He joins the ranks of Virgin’s Sir Richard Branson, author of Innovating Women: the Changing Face of Technology, Vivek Wadhwa, and Antony Jenkins, former group chief executive of Barclays.

In the listing, published mid-September, entitled ‘FT’s top feminist men help women succeed in business and beyond,’ Sigmundur is called a champion of UN Women’s HeForShe campaign and it is stated that he intends to wipe out the gender-based pay gap by 2022.

However, FT fails to mentions how Iceland’s PM intends to achieve that goal, Vísir points out, adding that in Iceland, Sigmundur’s efforts towards gender equality are disputed.

Nurse Hólmfríður Berentsdóttir criticized Sigmundur’s speech at a recent UN convention in an article in online women’s magazine Kvennablaðið, published Monday.

At the convention, Sigmundur stated, “No society or democracy can claim to be completely developed or matured without gender equality. That’s pure logic.” He also said: “Iceland has a proven track-record on advancing gender equality and this has been instrumental in the progressive development of our society.”

Hólmfríður accuses him of hypocrisy, given that in June, the government introduced a legislation to bring the strike of nurses to an end. She wrote: “Sigmundur Davíð, stop using me and my sisters to further your ego in the international arena and start tidying up at home. These people, who you’re bragging at, have access to the internet and can follow your mistakes from afar.”

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