A couple of weeks ago, women in Iceland went on strike (called kvennaverkfall) to protest unequal pay and gender-based violence. This was shocking to some, as Iceland is seen as one of the most equitable places in the world. Despite this fact, Iceland is not completely equal: women still earn 21% less than men.
This strike, which was the first daylong strike in Iceland since 1975 where 90% of women participated, similarly displayed the roles of women all across Iceland in the economy and society. Women took off work on Tuesday, ranging from their paid jobs to child care in the home.
The Icelandic strike made its way into professional sports. The Icelandic Women’s Soccer Team (knattspyrnusamband íslands) took the day off to attend the protests in Reykjavik. They posted pictures of the team together on Instagram with the caption “Áfram konur! #dottir” which translates to “Go Women! #daughter”
These hashtags are incredibly relevant to the protest because most Icelanders are named after their fathers. They do not have what we consider “a last name”. The names on the back of their jerseys are usually their father’s names with “dottir” attached to the end. In 2017, player Glódís Perla Viggósdóttir, discussed the names on their jerseys, saying, “It’s originally from the world of CrossFit where our stars, who are great role models for us and all Icelanders, got this name, “dóttir. It stands for being tough as nails and incredibly cool”. She was right, because Icelandic women are tough and nails and incredibly cool.