5-speed listening (Women's Day Off - Level 3)

Iceland's prime minister and women go on strike



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Women across Iceland joined their prime minister in going on strike on Tuesday. The action was part of a campaign for greater gender equality in the country. Prime minister Katrin Jakobsdottir told reporters why she took part in the "Women's Day Off". She said: "As you know, we have not yet reached our goals of full gender equality and we are still tackling the gender-based wage gap, which is unacceptable in 2023." A spokeswoman for the day off said: "On 24 October, all women in Iceland were encouraged to stop work, both paid and unpaid. For the whole day, women (and non-binary people) went on strike, to demonstrate the importance of their contribution to society."

Yesterday was the seventh time that women in Iceland have gone on strike. It was the first such action in nearly 50 years. The last strike was in 1975, when 90 per cent of women did not go to work and did not do housework. The following year, Iceland passed an equal pay law. In 1980, Iceland became the first country in Europe to elect a woman as head of state. According to the World Economic Forum, Iceland has had the smallest gender gap of any country for 14 years in a row. Despite this, Ms Jakobsdottir, said there is still a long way to go. She wants women's pay to be equal to men's pay. She also wants a reduction in gender-based violence. Ms Jakobsdottir said this was a "priority" for her government to tackle.

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