Women priests in Iceland have published a statement in support of the #metoo movement. The statement is co-signed by 65 women and accompanied by 64 anonymous accounts of gender-based violence and discrimination.
The accounts range from unwanted comments to sexual assault and violence. Some discuss their formal and informal attempts to call out or report behaviour, finding little to no support.
The statement reads “Women in the priesthood live, like other women, with gender-based violence, harassment, and discrimination in their workplaces.” The statement also acknowledges that although the National Church of Iceland has “established policies and solutions to these issues, women’s stories in the church show that much work remains to be done as elsewhere in society.”
The women call for the Bishop of Iceland, church councils, priests, and parish committees to work together to improve the working environment of women in the church. Bishop of Iceland Agnes M. Sigurðardóttir has published a letter in response to the statement. In the letter she states her gratefulness to the women who have come forward to share their experiences along with her intention to make every effort to “improve women’s working environment and relationships between people in the church community.”
Iceland Women in various industries have formed closed Facebook groups to share experiences and support, as well as releasing public statements and accounts to media. Readers may follow the links below to learn more.