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National Museum Collecting Memories of Gender Equality History

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National Museum Collecting Memories of Gender Equality History

Iceland's national costume

Photo: Páll Stefánsson.

The National Museum of Iceland is set to collect artifacts and stories about gender equality in Iceland, from the latter half of the 20th century to today, as part of its commemoration of the 100 years of women’s suffrage in Iceland. The project coincides with, and compliments, the ongoing collection of memories about grandmothers.

The museum website is carrying a list of questions about people’s memories, to which they are invited to provide long and detailed answers. Exhibition chief Ólöf Breiðfjörð says the museum is trying to compile evidence of the differing emphases and conditions of the sexes through the years, including in work and education, people’s expectations of education, whether these expectations were ever met, what encouragement there was at home from parents, the range of courses on offer, childcare options, home life, and more.

“These are not rigid, closed questions. We give some idea of what we want to know from people, but then people are free to write their memories and opinions. We are also trying to get young people on board with us,” Ólöf told RÚV.

The information is then collected on the Sarpur.is data bank. “This is a database, both of stories and people’s memories, that it will be possible for academics and the public to search through, to learn about the olden days, among other things.”

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