Published January 26, 2018
Women of foreign origin in Iceland have presented a united front in joining the #MeToo movement. As Kjarninn first reported Thursday, a group of women of foreign origin have organised via a private Facebook group to present a united front in sharing their unique experiences of gender-based discrimination and violence in Iceland.
Anonymous reports of the experiences of some group members were shared in Kjarninn, along with a group statement outlining the shared concerns of many women of foreign origin living in Iceland and issues a challenge to society as a whole to help address widespread discrimination experienced by many women of foreign origin in the country in many aspects of their daily lives.
“Our stories are laced with prejudice, discrimination, systematic degradation, seclusion, manipulation and abuse of the worst kind,” the group statement reads.
The group is collectively striving for:
1. Admission that women of foreign origin have diverse needs which must be met in the work place, society and by social service providers.
2. Admission that women of foreign origin are vulnerable and susceptible to systematic degradation, sexual harassment and violence.
3. Every plan of action to eradicate gender based discrimination, harassment, and abuse must have distinct empowerment and appeal schemes for women of foreign origin.
4. Government organizations at federal and local levels must find a way to ensure oversight and protection in eradicating discrimination against women of foreign origin.
5. Government organizations at federal and local levels must insure that women of foreign origin have ready access their rights and to measures to both charge and appeal if their rights have been broken.
6. We strive together to create an inclusive “safe place” for victims in every community.
More than 700 women have been admitted to the private Facebook group #MEtoo Kvenna af erlendum uppruna, where women have been sharing their eye-opening — and often heart-wrenching — stories of abuse and discrimination in their places of employment and their homes. Thirty-four of these stories have been reprinted anonymously by Kjarninn.
Women of foreign origin have been largely absent from the #MeToo movement in Iceland to date.