One fall day in 1975, the women of Iceland went on strike for equality. Ninety percent of them walked off the job and out of their homes, refusing to work, cook or take care of the children from noon to midnight. Initially laughed off as “a huge joke” by many men, the strike transformed the role of women in their society. Today, for the ninth year in a row, Iceland ranks first in gender equality.
That’s the result of their efforts so far, but not the whole story. What the women of Iceland accomplished required the ability to translate a single event into a new reality, and a lasting shift in the balance of power. It took relentless effort to effect and maintain progress through grit, courage, collaboration and a brilliant sense of humor.
Their story has much to teach us in America –– currently a dismal 49th in gender equality and, are you sitting down, 104th in the world when it comes to equal representation in government –– on par with Saudi Arabia. It’s the story of how a handful of seemingly ordinary women conceived, organized and carried off this transformative event, before there was social media. And it’s a story of inclusion; of workers and homemakers, young and old putting aside what divided them to come together to design change.
We think it’s a brilliant story of social design; an intentional plan to redesign a society to be more just and equitable. But you can judge for yourself. On January 10th, we are hosting an evening with Pamela Hogan, the Emmy award-winning director of The Long Friday, a documentary in progress about this untold story of ordinary women doing the extraordinary. Joining us will be two of the feisty, hilarious organizers of the strike, Elisabet Gunnarsdóttir, and Guōrún Hallgrimsdóttir.
Join us to hear from the director and watch some clips of the film in progress, and talk to two women who created and lived this moment of history.
Please bring your mothers, daughters, sisters and friends, and let’s use this moment to change our own reality. It’s time. Hope to see you there.
Wednesday, January 10th, 6-8 PM, SVA Beatrice Theater
Seats can be reserved at thelongfriday.eventbrite.com
Tickets are $12.00 and all proceeds will go toward the production of the film.