Who Is Katrín Jakobsdóttir? Iceland PM Joins Historic Women's Strike

Iceland's Prime Minister, Katrín Jakobsdóttir, participated in a strike, alongside thousands of women, to protest against the gender pay gap and gender-based violence.

Nikita Gupta
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Katrin Jakobsdottir.jpeg

Image Credits: Euro News

Iceland's Prime Minister, Katrín Jakobsdóttir, participated in a strike on October 24, alongside thousands of women, to protest against the gender pay gap and gender-based violence.


This marks the seventh time Icelandic women have gone on strike in pursuit of gender equality.

Who Is Katrín Jakobsdóttir?

Serving as the Prime Minister of Iceland since 2017, born in 1976, in Reykjavik, Jakobsdóttir is a prominent figure in Icelandic politics and is a member of the Left-Green Movement (Vinstri græn).

She began her political career as a member of the Reykjavik City Council and later served in the Icelandic Parliament, the Althing. Over the years, she held various ministerial positions in Icelandic governments.

As Prime Minister, she has been a strong advocate for environmental issues, gender equality, and social justice. Her government has worked on initiatives related to healthcare, education, and climate change.

After completing her education at the University of Iceland, she assumed the position of deputy chair of the Left-Green Movement in 2003, subsequently serving as their chair from 2013 onward. From February 2, 2009, to May 23, 2013, Katrín held the role of Iceland's Minister of Education, Science, and Culture, and also had responsibilities in Nordic cooperation.


About The Historic Women's Strike

The present event takes place nearly half a century after Iceland's organization of a full-day women's strike in 1975, known as Kvennafrí, during which 90% of Icelandic women opted not to work.

The strikes today have led to extensive disruptions nationwide, resulting in the closure of schools and kindergartens throughout Iceland, with only one bank remaining open.

As reported by The Guardian, protesters converged in the city centre of Reykjavík, demanding the elimination of the country's gender wage gap. In 2022, on average, women earned 21% less than men, as reported by Statistics Iceland. They also called for an end to gender-based and sexual violence, an issue that affects 40% of women in Iceland at some point during their lives.


The biggest gathering took place at Arnarhóll, a hill situated in the centre of Reykjavík, near the location of the inaugural full-day women's strike in 1975. This gathering exuded the vibrancy and camaraderie typical of a large-scale music festival.

People gathered in groups with friends, family members, and coworkers, with many displaying signs of support. They enthusiastically cheered the speakers and joined in singing along with the performers.

The anthem of the 1975 strike, "Áfram Stelpur" (Onward Girls), originally sung by the radical women's movement known as the Redstockings, resonated through the crowd.

Suggested Reading: A Feminist Revolution Like No Other: Iranian Women’s Fight Against Historical Oppression

Iceland Katrín Jakobsdóttir PM Katrin Jakobsdottir Women's Strike