Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir Pens CNN Article on Gender-Based Violence

Prime Minister of Iceland Katrín Jakobsdóttir.

Iceland’s prime minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir has penned an article for CNN’s news site regarding gender-based violence, harassment and discrimination in Iceland and abroad, Vísir reports. The article coincides with a conference in Harpa called MeToo: Moving Forward, the first international conference focused on the #MeToo movement and its aftermath, taking place over three days, ending tomorrow. 

In Katrín’s article, titled “Gender inequality is one of the most persistent evils of our times”, the prime minister talks about lessons revealed by the #MeToo movement and the importance of using its cultural momentum to bring about lasting changes in matters relating to gender equality. “Does [#MeToo] represent a permanent change for the better or a small window of opportunity that will shut again, resulting in a backlash? How can we make sure the efforts lead to enduring societal change?” Katrín asks.

When the #MeToo movement first started gaining momentum two years ago, many women in Iceland published their own testimonies under the hashtag, revealing discrimination that clashed with some people’s image of Iceland as a harbinger of gender-equality. “For many of us, the testimonies of migrant and ethnic minority women marked a turning point. They described levels of multiple discrimination that most of us had hoped didn’t exist in Iceland,” Katrín writes.

“They revealed that while Iceland has made internationally recognized progress on gender equality, we have not sufficiently confronted the intersections of gender, racial and class injustices. In this regard, Iceland, as well as the other Nordic countries, have lessons to learn from more diverse societies. Notably, this is one of the key themes at the conference.”

Read Katrín Jakobsdóttir’s CNN article here.

MeToo: Moving Forward will feature speakers from Iceland and abroad, including Perna Sen, the UN Women’s Executive Coordinator and Spokesperson on Addressing Sexual Harassment and Other Forms of Discrimination, playwright Justina Kehinde, former parliament member and artist Kolbrún Halldórsdóttir, Swedish gender equality activist Alán Ali and Secretary General of the Inter-Parliamentary Union Martin Chungong. The conference will be partially live streamed via its Facebook event, found here.

For more information on the MeToo: Moving Forward conference visit MeToo.is

Man Pushes Woman Off Balcony

iceland ambulance

A man in his thirties pushed a woman in her twenties off a balcony in upper Breiðholt late Monday evening, RÚV reports. The woman was rushed to a hospital and the man was taken into custody by police, where he remains. The woman is badly injured but reportedly in stable condition.

Police responded to a call about a woman who had fallen from a balcony on the second floor of a building in Breiðholt last Monday. However, it was quickly revealed that she had been pushed by the unnamed man, who was promptly captured at the scene by police. 

The man is thought to have violated his parole with the heinous act and has been sentenced to police custody for at least 30 days, while the matter is investigated by the police.

Indecent Exposure in a College Classroom

Háskóli Íslands University of Iceland

A young man entered a building belonging to the University of Iceland yesterday and harassed students and faculty, RÚV reports. At one point the man entered a classroom as a lecture was about to commence, pulled down his pants and began pleasuring himself to the horrified audience.

The building in question sits at Stakkahlíð and pertains to the educational science department of the University of Iceland. The man entered unseen and began by accosting an unsuspecting student, he then entered the aforementioned classroom where students promptly called the police, and chased the man out of the room. The man then accosted a member of faculty at the building’s offices before being captured by police and transferred to the nearest station. The scene unfolded in about ten to twenty minutes, according to witnesses.

Kolbrún Þorbjörg Pálsdóttir, president of the department of educational sciences, says that students and faculty responded in the best way possible and have been offered psychological first aid by professionals. “The following days will be spent taking care of our people and deciding how we address this matter,” Kolbrún said.

Man Survives Plane Crash

Icelandic coast guard

A small plane crashed into the ground at Skálafellsöxl yesterday afternoon, RÚV reports

The single engine aircraft reportedly sent out a distress signal picked up by the Icelandic Coast Guard who rushed to the scene by helicopter around 4pm yesterday. Upon arrival they were met with the pilot who was well enough to walk towards the rescue squad by himself. He was nevertheless transported to an intensive care unit for treatment. The pilot was alone in the aircraft.

Rescue workers had trouble locating the plane’s wreckage at first, but eventually came upon its burning remains around 5pm. The coast guard then transported detectives on the scene by helicopter to inspect the premises.