To hold an all male conference on equality issues, is the aim of minister of social affairs, Árni Magnússon. At a meeting of the Equal Rights Committee, at the Congress of the Council of Europe, he introduced the idea of an “all male conference”, and said he aims to hold such a conference in Iceland this fall. Following the conference in Iceland, he hopes to see an international all male conference in the spring of 2006.
“I believe that it is very important for men to discuss these matters, because equality issues have just as much to do with men as women,” said Árni in an interview with Morgunbladid.
According to Árni, the idea came from, former president of Iceland, Vigdís Finnbogadóttir. A year ago, at a seminar on equality in Reykjavík, Vigdís said that women were always the only ones who showed up at meetings to discuss equality issues. Árni said that this comment got him thinking and thus the idea of an all male conference was born.
The main task of the conference will be to go through what has been achieved in recent years and discuss how men can better participate and influence the quest for equal rights.
When asked if he thought the discussion on equality issues would be different when discussed by only males, Árni said, “Yes, I am sure that the discussion will be a little different and I believe that that is good for the equal rights movement. By saying that, I am not criticizing how it currently is, more saying that I would like to broaden it.” Árni told the Morgunbladid, that he believed, in order to achieve the next goals, men needed to participate more than they are today.”