The Feminist association was founded March 14th, 2003 and the website www.feministinn.is was opened in April 1st, 2003.

Update April 6th 2005


picture from women´s run June 19th 2004
See more pictures from June 19th 2004

The Feminist Association has continued to be very active this winter.
Here are new pictures from meetings in 2005
Our young feminist group have their own blog ungfem.blogspot.com and our reading group also have a blog www.feministinn.is/leshringur
We have meeting first thursday evening every month, this year the meeting have has the themes:
In April Peking 10 years ago, four feminists who attended the New York conference report how women in the world look at the situation now. Some call it the Being betrayal and report backlash in womens situation.
In March we had a meeting about Elfriede Jelinek who won the Nobel price in literature 2004.
In February we had a meeting about the status of families
In December 2004 we had a meeting where seven women artists discussed their new books.
In November we participated in the Icelandic 16 DAYS OF ACTIVISM AGAINST GENDER VIOLENCE November 25 - December 10, 2004
In November we had a meeting about sexual violence and the law system,
In October we had a feminist week with lots of activites.
In October 28th we had a protest meetup on Arnarhol protesting that a male in domistic violence law case in Iceland was sentenced to a lesser sentence because it was say thet the women had mad him angry.
On September 21th 2004 we gave the new preminister of Iceland a pink wheelbarrows full of feminist literature. Here are pictures from this.
In September we had a meeting were represents from all the political parties in Iceland told us what are ther equality policy and what the intend to do about gender equality.
In August our Male group had a special campaign "Say No to Rape" try to end violence and rape which used to be part of summer festivites in Iceland. Pictures of the plakats and T-shirts and when the Minister of social matters in Iceland accepted a T-shirt.
On June 19th we had a special celebration, this is special day from women in Iceland because on this day women got the right to vote. Here are pictures from June 19th the activites.
In June there was a nordic conference about women´s movements, we attended the conference and gave several lectures about Feminist Association of Iceland. Here are pictures from the conference.
In June we also were at the local market in Iceland and sold stuff. We also sold feminists as a demonstration to draw attention to that people are sold all over the world. Here is a videoclip from Icelandic TV about this. and here is a newspaper article about this.

In May 19th we had our annual meeting and celebrated our one year anniversary. Here are pictures from this.

In May Our stereotype group protested against beauty contest with a template were those attending could see if the fitted in. And of course nobody fittes in. Here is a newsletter article about that. protest.

On May 1st we participated in the parade and held a meeting. Here are pictures. and a short video from the parade.

There are more than one thousend subscribers at our newsletter and about 470 subscribers to our discussion e-mail list.. The e-mail list is still very active, with about 200 messages each month. We have about 680 members in our web forums and for the one and they have posted more than 7000 messages since it was opened.

Update May 20th 2004

Our general meeting and first anniversary party was at held on May 19th, 2004 at Hladvarpinn. Katrin Anna was reelected as our spokesperson next year and other in our RÁÐ (group leaders) are Kristín, Erla, Sóley, Sóley, Sólborg, Arnar, Berglind, Salvör,Hrafnhildur,

1) Security council. Fighting against violence women and children, trafficing, prostitution and pornography
2) Stereotype group. Fighting against sexist and negative images/adverticements.
3) Politics group. Making womens more powerful in Icelandic politics
4) Education group. Educating about feminism and gender issues. Working with schools.
5) Web project. Building on-line community for Icelandic feminists
6) Work and finance group. Equal pay and more influence in resource allocation
7) Diversity Group - improve conditions for marginalized women groups
8) Culture Group - Feminist in art and culture.
9) Feminist and male group - inform males about feminism.
10) Womens health group
11) Young feminists

Update March 28th 2004

At flick.com we have started discussion in English about our activites and feminism . Feel free to join this discussion - you have to register first and become member of the group feminism to participate but everyone came read the discussion.
We protested in front of the restaurant Jon forseti in downtown Reykjavik on Friday night March 26th. The radio station X had invited young Icelandic males to watch wet t-shirt contest and strippers. This event was sponsored by some big companies in Iceland. Here are our pictures from this event. and here is flickr discussion in English about this event.

On the International women´s day March 8th there was a conference in the Nordic house about the state of Nordic feminism and the new book FEMKAMP. Here are pictures from the conference.

Update March 3th 2004:
We have been very busy this year, there have been three HITS (informal meetings at a cafe/bar downtown), the first about how the police in Reykjavik is guarding that the erotic dance clubs of Reykjavik are not a place of prostitution/ lab dances (rumors says they are). Mayer of Reykjavik was at the meeting and so were owners of erotic dance clubs. The second HIT in February was about the new law about children's right and the third HIT in March was about women, politics and the media with both senators and people from the media discussing the terrible situation in Icelandic media where women are invisible and not participating and their voices are not heared. Many of our groups and individual members have been active, arranging meetings - i.e. the male group had a daddy- meeting in February about responsible fatherhood. Several group are doing outreach program, trying to educate young people about feminism. The internet debates have been very strong the first months of 2004 and feminists have been visible in the media but it seem like we are facing a lot of hatred and antifeminism, perhaps because of this publicity. Our association is still growing, there are new members signing up almost everyday.
In March 14th our association will be one year old.

We have a feminist week October 24th to November 1
Self portraits of women art exhibition ECCE FEMINA! and literature
A kind of fear art exhibition about pornographication, CARRY ON GIRLS! equality movement seminars , exhibitions of womens movements from 1970, mess in the women church , women health seminar and more and more...
.... the feminist week calendar in Icelandic here
we sent out newletter every day during the week (subscribers are now 896)
more about the week (lots of videoclips and sound tracks and pictures)
we regret that we have still everything only in Icelandic about the week
But we will add more in English after the week is over

Contact address

Contact address for The Feminist Association of Iceland is feministinn@feministinn.is

The spokeperson for the association in 2003 is Katrín Anna Guðmundsdóttir katrinc@hi.is Telephone: 354 698 1002. The webmaster and leader of the web project of the association is Salvor Gissurardottir salvor@khi.is Telephone 354 694 8596


Our mission
The Feminist Association of Iceland is a free and undependent platform with the goal to foster critical and feminist discussion on all levels of the Icelandic society:
* to work for gender equality
* to work against all kinds of sexual injustice such as pornophication, sexist and demeaning advertisements, violence, trafficing and prostitution
* to work against gender steriotypes
* to work for working women, equal pay for equal jobs and more influence of women in resource and finance management
* to make the sociey more alert to both male and female view points and roles.

Our Story - Our Background
Following is a short version of the background of FAI (The Feminist Association of Iceland). We would also recommend to you these articles:

CHALLENGING THE SLOW MOTION OF GENDER EQUALITY – THE CASE OF ICELAND Thorgerdur Einarsdottir, August 2003 (pdf format)

Backlash - The dark ages in Iceland

The first months of 2003 was a dark area in Iceland - a bottom of a feminist backlash. The Reykjavik area was lined with erotic dance clubs offering blatantly many kinds of sexual services provided by young foreign girls from poor countries who were trafficed to Iceland for short periods at a time, the tourist industry marketing of Icelandic firms in UK and other countries were demeaning and sexists towards women in Iceland, adverting easy sex in Iceland with slogans such as "Fancy a dirty week end" and "A one night stand in Reykjavik", the Internet porno was totally unregulated and many Icelandic teenage web portals were mostly daily link collections to very offensive pornographic websites. Some of these web portals were financed by advertisments from the main banks and political parties in Iceland. The young generation of the ruling political parties were mosty young males who fought for their kind of freedom - freedom that was defined i.e.as freedom to buy liquor in shopping centers and for sex customers to have unrestricted and uncencored access to sexual services such as lab dancing and strip shows.

The rise of violent crimes against women, domestic violence and rape were high. Also the voice and power of woman were getting lower and lower in finance and in politics - hitting bottom in the elections of 2003 were Icelandic women were the biggest loosers and when in the biggest political party in Iceland (the ruling party) only 18% were women after the election. In most of the TV talk shows about politics or finance women were absent and it seems like nobody payed any attention to this. Women in Iceland were frustrated and felt powerless and unvisible. There were no feminist movement and most people thought that feminists in Iceland were only a very tiny group (less than ten) of gender researchers. This was not so and we build an on-line association that grow on the Internet and went strong and became also active in real life and all kinds of gatherings and we struggled to get a voice and tell the public, tell the politicans and tell the companies that they were on the wrong track

Our story:

We are the children of the Internet.
On February 10th 2003 a feminist postlist was created by Thorgerdur Einarsdottir. The Centre for Gender Studies in Iceland and Thorgerdur (CV) did all the work. The hope was to gather together feminists in Iceland and create a discussion network. Soon the idea was discussed on the list to found a feminist association and on the 14th of March there was a foundation meeting. More than 200 feminists were in that meeting. This was a huge success, until then feminists were unvisible as a group in Iceland. Katrin Anna Gudmundsdottir was elected as the spokesperson for the association and Salvor Gissurardottir as the leader of the web project. The web project was one of the eleven group projects for the first year. These eleven group projects are:
1) Security council. Fighting against violence women and children, trafficing, prostitution and pornography
2) Steriotype group. Fighting against sexist and negative images/adverticements.
3) Politics group. Making womens more powerful in Icelandic politics
4) Education group. Educating about feminism and gender issues. Working with schools.
5) Web project. Building on-line community for Icelandic feminists
6) Work and finance group. Equal pay and more influence in resource allocation
7) Diversity Group - improve conditions for marginalized women groups
8) Culture Group - Feminist in art and culture.
9) Feminist and male group - inform males about feminism.
10) Womens health group
11) Young feminists
Most of the groups/projects have been very active.

Our success:
The association continued to grow and most of the activity was on-line in discussions over the Internet. In beginning of May 2003 the list had more than 600 subscribers and the debate was lively and had very much influence in Iceland.. In the beginning of September 2003 there had been more than 2700 postings and it has been obvious for a long time that we needed a web-based disscussion system. In the summer 2003 we opened Femínistaspjall (femininist discussion) and started a newsletter/announcement mailing tlist. More than 750 subscribers are to our newsletter list.

In the beginning we were invisible

In the beginning we were invisible - even though we wore bright pink T-shirts and were a group of several hundres. We first appeared in public in the May 1st parade in Iceland. There were several hundred feminists downtown in one group in the parade, many of them wearing special T-shirts with slogans such as "I am a feminist" "I think - therefore I am a feminist" (in latin Cogito ergo feminista sum), "Real men are feminists", "Prostitution is violence". The strange thing was that media, especially the TV were not able to see us. How the managed to totally ignore us remains a mystery. The only report of that this event was our own website which became our own news channel were we put up our pictures from the May 1st parade. We refused to be invisible and after May 1st we used both Internet media and wrote newspaper articles and complained and complained and have since made the media alert to that we exist and we want to be heared and we want a change. The Feminist Association and this feminist awakening in Iceland has been portraited in many newsletter articles and interviews. There has been a big awakening and more awareness of gender issues and our members are active in contacting the media and goverment agencies in trying to promote equality. Groups within the feminist association have also had all kinds of successful activites such as meeting with politicans after the election in Iceland and opening of an wanderiing exhibition "Alternatives of Beauty" about protest against beauty contests in Iceland.

Now we have a voice and we are visable and we have power

The Feminist Association of Iceland was founded in March 2003. In beginning of July about 550 had joined the association. Now (September) members are around 700 and the Feminist Association has real power and influence in Iceland, representants from the associations are often interviewed by the press and TV stations and the feminist discussions that started on the Internet in our mailing list and inside the association has spread out to almost all media channels in Iceland. We have also succeeded at cooperating with many other women and equality organization in Iceland and we made June 19th a pink day in Iceland were almost every one thought about equality and very many took our challenge to were something pink as a solidaire to gender equality.

Paint the City Pink
On June 19th we celebrate the day when Icelandic women got the right to vote.
The year the Feminist Association of women initiated a project "Paint the City Pink" where we encourages all the show there sympathy with gender equality by wearing something pink. This event was a big success. Here are some pictures.

The Pink stones
On June 19th, 2003, The Feminist Association of Iceland gave the pink stones for the first time, this year to the minister, to the president and to the bishop of Iceland.

19 juin 2003
Journée de la Femme

The Feminist Association of Iceland will be awarding their pink stones today to prominent figures in the community in honour of Iceland’s Women’s Day. On 19 June 1915, women in Iceland were given the right to vote. Awardees include Prime Minister Davíd Oddsson, Reykjavík Mayor Thórolfur Árnarsson, and Bishop of Iceland Karl Sigurbjörnsson. The Secretary of the President of Iceland will also accept a pink stone on behalf of the President. The stones are awarded to high-power men in Iceland, in order to help them keep women’s rights in mind in their daily decision-making. The Feminist Association urges all women to wear pink today to show support for Women’s Day. There will be a Women’s Day mass today in Laugardalur valley along a riverbank where women in Reykjavík used to gather to wash their clothes. The mass will include a choral performance and speeches, including a speech to be delivered by a female priest, entitled, ‘Is God a Woman?’

Our voice has even reached the International media
in BBC and Guardian
We have made news in the international press at least twice, first about our critics of how the Icelandic airline Icelandair uses in their campaign in UK and second when we criticized the proposal by Athens officials to increase the numbers of bordels in Ahtens. This both was initated by our discussions in our on-line forum. Here is the relevant interview in BBC and article in Guardian.

BBC Interview with Guðjón and Valgerður (mp3)

We have also made news outside Iceland when we protested prostitution in Athens
Guardial July 3th, 2003 "Last night a group of Icelandic feminists also stepped into the fray, denouncing "proposals [that go against] the spirit of the Olympic games".
"The proposals by Athens officials are in total contrast to the spirit of the Olympic games which advocates health, peace, sexual equality and co-operation," said Kirstin Astgeirsdottir, a spokeswoman for the Icelandic Feminist Association. "

Our iniative (we wrote a letter to politician and athetic associations) led to actions by equality ministers from Sweden, Norway, Finland, Iceland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. They issued a joint statement expressing their "abhorrence" at an alleged request by Athens City Council to boost permits for brothels to meet demand during the Games. See this new from BBC Anger over Greek Olympic brothels 23 July, 2003

We have foreign visitors and we try to spread the word

We have had the deputy prime minister of Sweden came to visit us and continue with our protest. Our iniative (we wrote a letter to politician and athetic associations) led to actions by equality ministers from Sweden, Norway, Finland, Iceland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. They issued a joint statement expressing their "abhorrence" at an alleged request by Athens City Council to boost permits for brothels to meet demand during the Games.
See this new from BBC Anger over Greek Olympic brothels 23 July, 2003

On September 6th 2003 Margarita Winberg the Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden was the guest of the Feminist Association of Iceland and ten other woman and equality organisations in Iceland. This visit was initiated by Stigamót. Under Swedish law the exploiter - the person who buys sex or mediates in a purchase - is the criminal. The victim - the prostitute - is not punished. Margareta Winberg has been leading the nordic debate that feminists from Iceland started:
Nordic and Baltic ministers protest plans for more brothels USA Today 7/23/2003
Anger over Greek Olympic brothels 23 July, 2003 BBC
Passions rise in Athens brothels row Fox Sports July 25, 2003

Addresses by Margareta Winberg in Iceland
Grand Hotel, Iceland, 6 September 2003
University of Iceland, 5 September 2003
Pictures from the September 6th meeting

Hittið

We have now started "Hittið" (the hit) - an uninformal gathering at a coffe shop in downdown Reykjavik where feminists can came and talk about feminist matters. The first Hittið was September 2th, 2003. It was crowded and a big success. We plan to have this kind of meeting once a month, the first thuesday of the month.


Here are the pictures.

 

The Feminists Week in process....
Now our main activity is preparing for the feminist week. The Feministist Association of Iceland is planning a feministist week in Iceland, starting at October 24th 2003.
The feminist week (Icelandic)
The calendar for the week (Icelandic)
Some Activities (more will be added on the website later)
Ecce Femina!
Pornofication

Our communication tools

• We now have website with articles, news, pictures, information materials, links etc. at www.feministinn.is. The website is linking to and reporting about all our on-line and real life activites. We try to make everything we do visible on the web.
Most of our material is only available in Icelandic but you can get an idea of what we have been doing by looking at the pictures:

Here are pictures from some of the meetings:

Myndir frá fundi 1. apríl 2003 (second foundation meeting)
Myndir frá fundi 14.mars 2003 (first foundation meeting)
Myndir frá undirbúningsfundum
(preparation meetings)
Myndir frá ráðskvennafundi (the council first meeting)
Myndir frá 1.maí göngu (the first time we are in public - May first parade)
Myndir frá sýningu 23. maí (opening of a exibition about beauty protests)
Myndir Kynjuð stjórnmál 28.mai
(meeting with politicians after the election)
Málum bæinn bleikan 19. júní
(paint the city pink - we celebrate that Icelandic woman have the right to vote)
Myndir Goldfinger 28.júní

Ráðsfundur 3. júlí
Hittið 2. september
Margareta Winberg 6. september


• We have e-mail newsletter postlist for sending out newsletters and meeting announcements. It has now around 800 subscribers in September 2003.
• We have e-mail discussion postlist. It has around 600 subscribers and more than 2700 posts since it started in February 2003.
• We have now started a new web based discussion forum www.feministinn.is/umraedur It was officially opened in beginning of September 2003 but already the discussion is lively and we hope it will take over the e-mail postlist.
• We have weblog for posting out news etc. feministinn.blogspot.com
• We use voice weblogs for sending out voice news example voice blog from our action in front of an erotic dance place in Iceland on June 28th (here are pictures)and example from a radio interview.


Picture from our first group leaders meeting after foundation meeting

We don´t have much in English about the discussions but this discussion was noticed by BBC and they made news of it. Perhaps it gives you i


BBC WorldService
TAC0322122
CUE:As just about any advertising executive will tell you, sex sells....And it seems Iceland's national airline, Icelandair has taken that advice to heart. Its latest ad campaign here in the UK, uses sexual innuendo and raunchy images to promote a country better known for its snow and dark volcanic landscapes.. But Iceland's Centre for Gender Equality is unhappy with the adverts and their portrayal of women. Its director, Valgerdur Bjarnadottir (valger-door Byah-nah dottir) explained why.
BAND ONE: Valgerdur BJARNADOTTIR
It's not only the posters, it's the whole marketing campaign or this part of it that has to do with advertising Iceland under the slogans 'a dirty weekend in Iceland', 'one night stand in Reykjavik' etc. The problem is that a powerful company like Icelandair has a big responsibility in creating an image about Iceland and its nation. The combination of jokes like dirty we! ekend and one night stand with pictures of half naked women has disturbed, especially Icelandic women but the general public in Iceland.
She said that it contravenes the gender equality law.
BAND TWO:
We have a law in Iceland, a gender equality law. The law says that an advertiser or someone who designs or publishes an advertisement shall ensure that the advertisement does not in any manner disgrace one of the sexes. We want to make sure that this law is upheld.
She distinguishes between women being portrayed as sexual objects and women being sexually active.
BAND THREE:
I am quite sure that most young women do not like to see themselves as sexual objects. I'm sure that they want to go to work and they want to dress up at night and sometimes engage in sexual adventures. That's very different from being a sexual object.

Last updated 6-apr-05
Salvor Gissurardottir
feministinn@feministinn.is