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Iceland Mag

Culture

#metoo: Calendars with nude or revealing photos banned from trawlers, fish processing plants

By Staff

  • Two of Síldarvinnslan's trawlers in harbour One of Iceland´s largest fishing companies has declared a total porn ban on it's property. Photo/Kristín Svanhvít Hávarðsdóttir

One of the biggest stories of 2017 in Iceland was the #metoo revolution. Hundreds of Icelandic women from all walks of life stepped forward to share their stories of sexual harassment and everyday sexism in an effort to raise awareness of the importance of tackling gender based violence and discrimination. National and local authorities have wowed to take action to address the issue. Several employers have also stepped pledged their support.

Read more: Iceland ranked as most gender equal country in world for the 9th consecutive year

One of these, Síldarvinnslan, which is one of Iceland's largest fishing companies, hopes to tackle sexism among its employees by banning all calendars with nude or revealing photos of women from all company property, including its trawlers and fishing vessels, machine shops and fish processing plants as well as all offices.

The CEO of Síldarvinnslan hopes other fishing companies will follow in these footsteps. Men must shoulder responsibility and change their behavior toward women, he argued. 

Education and a change in workplace culture
The announcement was made at a meeting with staff on December 29. All calendars with pictures of nude or scantily clad women will henceforth be banned from the property of Síldarvinnslan. The CEO of Síldarvinnslan told the local newspaper Stundin that the ban was part of an attempt by the company to change workplace culture and tackle the problem of sexual harassment. He added that banning the "sexy calendars" was also necessary to ensue women who work for the company felt safe and comfortable.

Selected stories shared by women as part of the #metoo revolution were read at the staff meeting, and a representative of UN Women in Iceland talked to the staff about gender equality and the importance of men showing responsibility by changing their attitude and actions.

Women of #metoo persons of the year in Iceland
The listeners of Rás 2 the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service radio channel 2 as well as the viewers of local TV station Stöð 2 voted the women behind the #metoo revolution as the persons of the year in Iceland. The #metoo revolution began in the US after a group of Hollywood actresses stepped forward to tell stories of sexual harassment and violence by prominent men in show business. 

When the revolution spread to Iceland it combined with a national conversation about sexual violence which had flared up last spring in connection to criticism over the pardoning of sexual predators. Pardon-gate ultimately led to the collapse of the conservative led coalition government and a snap election on October 28. The new Left Green led coalition government has announced a government led initiative to fight sexual violence.

Read more: ANALYSIS: Government falls in shocking scandal involving one of Iceland's most notorious child abuse cases

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