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Iceland Celebrates 100 Years of Women’s Suffrage

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Iceland Celebrates 100 Years of Women’s Suffrage

A celebration of women's rights in Reykjavík in 1915.

Photo: Magnús Ólafsson. Courtesy of Reykjavík Museum of Photography.

A century ago today women in Iceland were officially granted the right to vote in elections—among the first few countries in the world to grant the right that today seems immutable.

The anniversary marks the day the King of Denmark and Iceland approved the bill passed by Alþingi. Though a big step towards voting equality, it only gave the vote to 12,000 women aged 40 or over.

Parliament will hold a ceremonial meeting today to mark the day; and all male and female MPs will be invited—despite a proposal made recently to make it a women-only parliament.

Today is the high-point of a year-long schedule of events to celebrate women’s suffrage.

There are events taking place all over Iceland today. Some businesses and organizations are closed entirely today, some others will close after lunch, and others still are going to allow their female staff members to leave early. All this is done to allow people to enjoy the celebrations.

Activities are organized in all major towns, and in Reykjavík they include several free concerts, a religious service, speeches and exhibitions at locations including City Hall, Alþingi, Harpa and Austurvöllur.

More details are available (in Icelandic) here.

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