March 8 is International Women's Day and on Instagram stories today, we highlighted Iceland's success in the fight for gender equality. Many things came into play to help the country reach the point where they are now but the one that's the most impressive is what transpired on October 24, 1975.
On that day, 90% of Icelandic women walked off their jobs or out of their households to demand the same rights men have. The country essentially shut down as the women refused to work, both at home and in the workplace. Men were solely responsible for all of the women's tasks, including feeding their families, leading to the entire country selling out of Icelandic hot dogs as the men scrambled to find meals.
The women's strike effectively paralyzed the country and made men recognize women's true importance in keeping society running. Within a few years, Iceland had elected a female president and the Women's Alliance, a women's-only party, gained its first seats on parliament. Today, the country boasts high percentages of women on company boards and in parliamentary positions and is poised to close the gender income gap by 2022.
Today we celebrate all women, especially those who have worked so hard to fight for our rights. Iceland might have come a long way yet there's still more work to do and I know those women will keep fighting for as long as it takes.