11 April 2011

Iceland is the best country to live in if you're a woman

Strip clubs are out. Parental leave is in. The glass ceiling has been shattered.

Vigdís Finnbogadóttir became Iceland's president and the first democratically elected female head of state in the world, in 1980.

They just appointed Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir as prime minister - the first openly gay pm in the world who married her long time partner in June. [Same sex marriage is illegal in Australia].
43% of parliament is female.

Iceland has edged out Norway in the world economic forum's most recent global gender gap index [Australia ranks 20th] which is based on its labour force participation, the ability of its women to rise to positions of power, leadership in business, wage equality, levels of literacy and education, life expectancy, child mortality, maternity leave benefits and basic human rights, Iceland is officially the best place on earth to be a woman.

A law is being passed that will shut down every strip club in the country, making it illegal for any business to profit from the nudity of its employees. As a result, it has become the first country in the world to ban stripping and lap dancing for feminist reasons (as opposed to religious ones).
A couple will get 9 months parental leave. 3 months each and a further 3 months to be dedicated between them. 

Women still tend to have children young with 25.5 being the average age. And not having a partner is unlikely to raise an eyebrow. As they have a great childcare system and family and friends help each other.

There is no prejudice towards young mothers because everyone knows you can still educate yourself and achieve your dreams and have careers.

Iceland was the second country in the world after Russia in 1920 to legalise abortion in 1935. [Abortion rights in Australia differ from state to state. QLD: You could go to jail for 7 years for having one and 14 years for performing one.]

WHY WE LOVE REYKJAVIK: Heated sidewalks. Glacier snowmobiling. 99.9 percent literacy rate. Midnight suns. World's oldest parliament. Geothermal hot spot. Nightlife hot spot. The real Blue Lagoon. Women keep their maiden names. Green energy sources. Viking horses. U.N.-ranked "Best Place to Live." Big blonde men.