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The Action Thread Part Two

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Look back on this snippet of the brilliant performance by Music Generation Carlow Trad Ensemble #Reelig live on stage last week at the Creative Connexions Festival in Sitges, Barcelona.

As part of the Festival's headline performance on Saturday the group also performed alongside internationally renowned dancers Velocity(David Geaney and Anne Marie Keaney) - what a remarkable way to spend the bank holiday weekend. Enormous congratulations to all!

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Music Generation Offaly/ Westmeath

c/o Offaly County Council; Áras an Chontae; Charleville Road; Tullamore, Co. Offaly R35 F893

(057) 934 - 6800 | musicgen@offalycoco.ie

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SINFONIETTA

 
 
SINFONIETTA is a NEW orchestral outreach project being developed by MGOW in partnership with the Maynooth University Music Department.
 
SINFONIETTA aims to give young musicians who may or may not already be part of an ensemble, the experience of working with some of the country's leading conductors and players right here in the Midlands.
 
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Sinfonietta is an opportunity for young people who may or may not already be part of an ensemble to work with some of the country's leading conductors and players over a series of intensive rehearsals intended to challenge individual and group playing.

It is hoped that young people joining SINFONIETTA will take this learning back to their regular school & community orchestras and lessons. 

The professional musician team will bring together experienced performers and professionals from Maynooth University and Music Generation Offaly/Westmeath, under the guidance of Artistic Director, composer and conductor Andrew Synnott, and Deputy Director Karen ní Bhroin. Current students of Maynooth University Department of Music will also form part of the ensemble, attending monthly rehearsals where they will act as ‘learning buddies’, and performing in the Finale Concert.

During each rehearsal the team will work through repertoire carefully selected by our Artistic Director.  In this way, all of the musicians involved will have the opportunity to extend their instrumental and ensemble skills as they work towards a fantastic performance.

All successful applicants will be expected to commit to attending the full schedule of rehearsals; should be prepared for intensive sessions and willing to work on parts in-between!

The rehearsal schedule and concert dates are:

  • 25 November, 2017;

  • 9 December, 2017;

  • 3 February, 2018;

  • 3 March, 2018;

  • 7 April, 2018;

  • 21 April, 2018 (Finale Concert)

Rehearsals will take place over a full day, from 11am to 4pm, and are based in Athlone Institute of Technology.

Who should apply?

SINFONIETTA is for young musicians aged between 11 and 19 who are looking to be challenged in their individual and ensemble playing.

Applications from enthusiastic, hard-working string, woodwind & brass instrumentalists and percussion, harp and piano players are welcome.

Previous experience of playing in an ensemble isn't necessary but it is advantageous.

There is no audition – application is by completing the online form and through teacher recommendation. Selection criteria will apply.

The small print!

  • Please check for potential date clashes in advance of applying.

  • Failure to attend rehearsals may impact ability to perform in the final concert.

  • Cost: €100 (non-refundable membership fee)

  • There is no audition – application is by completing the online form and through teacher recommendation.

  • Selection criteria will apply.

  • The number of places available will be dictated by the final instrumentation of the ensemble.

APPLY ONLINE HERE

Deadline for receipt of applications: 3rd November, 2017

 
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SINFONIETTA is an orchestral residency being developed by  Maynooth University Department of Music in partnership with MGOW. 

What is SINFONIETTA?

 
SINFONIETTA is for young people who may or may not already be part of an ensemble to come together with other like-minded musicians and work towards a performance over a series of intensive rehearsals intended to challenge individual and group playing.
 

SINFONIETTA brings together professional musicians who are experienced performers and professionals, current students of Maynooth University Department of Music and younger musicians.

 
Being part of  SINFONIETTA will give young musicians skills and experience to take back to their regular orchestras and lessons. 
 
SINFONIETTA will give younger musicians the chance to work with some of the country’s leading conductors and players.
 

 By taking part in SINFONIETTA younger musicians will have the chance to develop a deeper knowledge and appreciation of music, performance and ensemble playing. 

 
 
 
 
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Music Generation
 

WHAT'S HAPPENING

What we want to do is really simple. We just want to make sure that everyone, whatever their background, gets access to music tuition. That’s the idea.
- Bono

← return to blog

26/10/2017

Job opportunity: Communications and Administration Officer

Job opportunity: Communications and Administration Officer

To support the communications and administration work of its National Development Office, Music Generation is now seeking to appoint a full-time Communications & Administration Officer. This is an exciting opportunity for a team player who combines rigour, energy and ideas with a qualification in marketing/communications and/or arts/arts administration, and a minimum of one year’s professional experience.

Music Generation is Ireland’s National Music Education Programme, which transforms the lives of children and young people through access to high-quality performance music education in their local area. Initiated by Music Network, the programme is co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds, the Department of Education and Skills and Local Music Education Partnerships.

Recently, Music Generation has embarked on an ambitious new phase which will see the programme expand into nine new areas of the country from 2017 to 2021.

The communications function of Music Generation plays a key role in supporting the programme’s operations and strategic development. This includes direct communications with partners and stakeholders and all elements of marketing and PR across traditional and new media that seek to grow engagement, reach and public awareness of the organisation.  

Closing date: 5pm, Friday 24 November, 2017

For a detailed job description and further information about the application process, please contact: 

John Deely, Pinpoint
E: Recruit@pinpoint.ie
T: +353 1 642 5721  

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Ireland's National Music Education Programme.
A Music Network Initiative, co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds,
The Department of Education and Skills and Local Music Education Partnerships

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© Music Generation DAC. All Rights Reserved. Registered in Ireland No. 491331. Charity Reg. No. CHY 19679.
NCH Building, Earlsfort Terrace, Dublin 2. Telephone: +353 1 4758454

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Music Education Solutions

Singing Strategy Symposium 2017

 
Singing Strategy Symposium 2017

Now in its fourth year, this popular event is open to anyone with an interest in singing with children and young people, but will be of particular interest to those from music education hubs who are responsible for singing strategy. The day will comprise a mixed programme of debates, seminars and practical workshops, allowing participants to gain ideas and inspiration for their singing programmes and projects.

Download the full programme here

Sessions:

Welcome from Music Education Solutions®

Inspiration 1: Innovative Projects from Around the UK
featuring Mahogany Opera, Out of the Ark, and Opera Anywhere

Inspiration 2: Innovative Solutions to Issues in Vocal Teaching
featuring the latest research from Postgraduate Vocal Pedagogy students

Peer Sharing: Successes and Challenges from across the UK
a chance to discuss your own and others' singing strategy plans

Bright Ideas 1: Friday Afternoons
explore innovative and exciting ways to use songs for creative response

Bright Ideas 2: Sing for Pleasure
inspiration for developing all types of choirs

Support Systems 1: Sing into Literacy
a chance to see brand new Early Years resources which support literacy development through singing

Support Systems 2: NYCGB
find out how NYCGB can support your music hub or school with choral singing

Synthesis: How can we incorporate today's inspiration into our own singing strategy?

Exhibitors include: Ex Cathedra Singing Playgrounds, Friday Afternoons, National Youth Choir of Great Britain, Sing for Pleasure, Out of the Ark, and The Voices Foundation.


Friday 10th November 2017 10am-4pm
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Canon Hill Park, Birmingham, B12 9QH

33 places remaining. Booking closes 1st November 2017.

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Kale power: Water for crops gives women in Kenya’s drylands a voice
622
GIRLS AND WOMEN

Kale power: Water for crops gives women in Kenya’s drylands a voice

7 September 2017 4:10PM UTC | By: THOMSON REUTERS FOUNDATION

 
   

On a blistering hot afternoon, Zainab Omar Ali methodically sorts through freshly picked bunches of kale on her farm in Alimao village in northeast Kenya.

“I managed to sell most of my batch at the market this morning,” she said with satisfaction. “I’ll try to sell the remaining fresh ones tomorrow, and cook the rest at home.”

Near her farm in Wajir County, women buzz around four greenhouses made of dark shade nets, watering vegetable plots and removing weeds.

Omar Ali and other women in this village bordering Somalia used to grow vegetables by fetching water from a hand-dug shallow well and keeping off pests with old mosquito nets.

But increasingly dry weather and rising temperatures damaged their already limited harvests and weakened their cattle, the women said.

Change is afoot, however. Since 2016, a project led by an international charity is helping women from Alimao grow vegetables like kale and onions under shade nets that protect the crops from predators and the sun’s intensity.

A drip irrigation system is installed under the nets to use water more efficiently.

The “Kenya Resilient Arid Lands Partnership for Integrated Development” (Kenya RAPID) programme, implemented by World Vision Kenya, aims to improve 45,000 people’s access to water and sanitation in dry northern counties.

REBUILDING AFTER DROUGHT

After losing all their livestock to drought in the 1990s, Omar Ali and her family left their village in northern Kenya and migrated to Wajir County.

“Life was hard without any meat or milk to rely on,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. “My (six) children and I would sometimes go for two days without a proper meal and had to rely on wild fruits.”

Experts say women bear the brunt of climate change in many developing countries, and are often more vulnerable than men when disasters like floods or droughts strike.

Richard Munang, climate change programme coordinator for Africa at UN Environment, said men in pastoralist communities control the main source of income – livestock – meaning women cannot take the decision to sell or slaughter an animal.

“That makes them more likely than men to have to go without food in times of need, while they must walk long distances to fetch water,” he said.

With no stable income to rely on, Omar Ali and six other village women decided to pool their limited savings in 2013.

“We used to have weekly meetings where each member would give 200 Kenyan shillings ($1.93) to buy milk from livestock herders and resell it to town dwellers,” she recalled, bending to water her vegetables. “But the milk would often spoil due to the heat.”

Halima Qureysh, another group member, said the women then tried farming a small piece of land allocated by village elders, but the hand-dug shallow wells they used often ran dry.

Since last year, however, the women have used the shade nets provided by the Kenya RAPID project, which is funded by the U.S. and Swiss governments, to help protect their crops from extreme heat.

Last year they harvested 35 tonnes of kale, compared to just a few bunches each previously, which was barely enough for domestic consumption.

Omar Ali said the group’s “healthy-looking” kale now fetches 50 shillings per kilo, instead of only 20 previously.

She now makes about 4,500 shillings per month – three times what she used to earn.

“I can take my children to school, cook balanced meals for my family and I have gained recognition in my community,” she said.

“In our society, women are not normally allowed to speak in public forums,” she added. “But given our group’s success, men are now letting the members speak to the rest of the village and make decisions at a family level.”

SOLAR-POWERED PUMP

With support from the project, the group has also set up a borehole with a solar-powered pump to ease water shortages.

The women purify water from the borehole, store it in tanks and sell it to the rest of the community.

“We used to share dirty water with livestock in water pans – if there was water at all,” said Omar Ali. “But the water we get now is clean.”

Dickens Thunde, former country director at World Vision Kenya, said working with the community’s existing ways of coping with climate extremes – rather than introducing a new system – had been key to the success of the project.

“This community was already managing its own natural resources – it just needed a sustainable water source to withstand shocks,” he said.

However, challenges remain in reaching other vulnerable community members who aren’t part of the women’s group.

Hadabah Mahamoud, a project officer for sanitation and nutrition with World Vision, said a lack of funding has so far limited the project’s expansion to other villages.

“Once established, these projects are easy to manage, but the initial cost of setting them up and sourcing the equipment like irrigation pumps is quite high,” she said.

“Most people in this arid region still lack proper access to water, without which they cannot expect a healthy harvest or livestock,” she added.

For now, said Omar Ali, the women plan to use the group’s savings to offer training in sustainable farming to other women in the region, using their village as “a centre of excellence”.

($1 = 103.7500 Kenyan shillings)

This story was originally published at Thomson Reuters Foundation News. Reporting by Robert Kibet, editing by Zoe Tabary and Megan Rowling.

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THOMSON REUTERS FOUNDATION
7 September 2017 4:10PM UTC

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8 quotes about the girls’ education crisis you need to read
191
EDUCATION

8 quotes about the girls’ education crisis you need to read

October 18 2017 | By: KAAVYA RAMESH

ADD YOUR NAME

Tell world leaders: ACT NOW for 130 million girls out of school

 
  

130 million girls didn’t go to school today— not because they didn’t want to, but because they weren’t given the chance.

There are dire consequences to not educating girls. In many countries, girls out of school will be more likely to become child brides, more vulnerable to diseases like HIV, and more likely to die young. For example, if current trends in education continue, by 2050, this is the future we’re looking at: Low-income countries alone will lose $1.8 trillion; the number of lives lost each year because of a failure to provide adequate access to quality education will equal those lost today to HIV and AIDS and malaria, some of the most deadly global diseases; and almost 950 million women will have been married as children, up from more than 700 million today.

This is a global crisis, and we need to make sure world leaders are paying attention. That’s why we want you to add your voice to the chorus of those calling for funding for girls’ education. We have a unique window of opportunity coming up soon in which world leaders will be asked to crowdfund the Global Partnership for Education – the only global fund solely dedicated to education in developing countries. It won’t solve the crisis alone. But if they all chip in enough, millions more girls will have the chance to complete 12 full years of school. To urge support, we’ll be delivering this petition to decision makers—add your name and make your voice heard!

Need inspiration? Here are 8 incredible quotes on the value of educating girls everywhere:

La_primera_dama_Michelle_Obama_253775800

First Lady Michelle Obama discusses the Let Girls Learn program in Buenos Aires on March 23, 2016. (Photo credit: Embajada de EEUU en la Argentina/Wikimedia Commons)

“The ability to read, write, and analyze; the confidence to stand up and demand justice and equality; the qualifications and connections to get your foot in that door and take your seat at that table—all of that starts with education.”
–Michelle Obama, Let Girls Learn speech, International Women’s Day 2016

“The rights we want:
We want to choose our husband,
We want to own the land,
We want to go to school,
We don’t want to be cut anymore,
We want also to make decisions,
We want respect in politics,
To be leaders,
We want to be equal.”
–Rebecca Lolosoli, who helped establish the Umoja Women’s Village in Kenya after she was beaten for speaking up for victims of rape

“Boko Haram sees girls’ education as a threat simply because they are aware of the tremendous potential and power of an educated girl.”
–Dr. Eleanor Nwadinobi, a longtime Global Fund for Women advisor in Nigeria

Malala_Yousafzai-1024x683.jpg

Malala Yousafzai. (Photo credit: Southbank Centre/Wikimedia Commons)

“Nigeria faces many challenges—but none of them can be solved without education. Today tens of millions of Nigerian children are out of school; most of them are girls. This is a tragedy for girls, an enormous waste of human potential and a threat to the future of Nigeria.”
–Malala Yousafzai calling for Nigeria to call a state of emergency for education

“Education is a basic need and a fundamental right for every human being. I want to change the way my community looks at education, and I will continue to do this until my last breath.”
–Humaira Bachal, Pakistani activist for girls’ education

“Women and girls are Africa’s greatest untapped resource, and it is they, not diamonds or oil and minerals, that will be the foundation for solid, sustainable and equitable progress. Health and development experts, economists, non-governmental organisations, UN agencies, and even banks agree that expanding the freedoms, the education, and opportunities for women holds the key to kickstarting inclusive economic growth. This is true the world over, and particularly true for Africa.”
–Joaquim Chissano, former president of Mozambique

Queen Rania of Jordan. (Photo credit: World Economic Forum/Wikimedia Commons)

Queen Rania of Jordan. (Photo credit: World Economic Forum/Wikimedia Commons)

“I’ve always believed that when you educate a girl, you empower a nation.”
–Queen Rania of Jordan, advocate for girls’ education

“I know no better weapon in life to fight injustice than education.”
–Tererai Trent, keynote speaker at the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit and adjunct professor in Monitoring & Evaluation in Global Health at Drexel University

Want to help make sure every girl gets an education? Tell world leaders to make this issue a priority.

Tell world leaders: ACT NOW for 130 million girls out of school

Dear World Leaders, 130 million girls are out of school - this is a crisis and we need to act. Please fully finance the Global Partnership for Education as part of the solution so it can help millions of girls in the poorest countries get the education they deserve.

ADD YOUR NAME

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KAAVYA RAMESH
October 18 2017

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The homeless man who turned his life around by offering book reviews instead of begging
9654
CULTURE

The homeless man who turned his life around by offering book reviews instead of begging

September 1 2015 | By: HELEN HECTOR

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Join the fight against extreme poverty

 
  

Meet Philani Dladla, a.k.a. the Pavement Bookworm.  He’s 24 and lives in Johannesburg, South Africa, and his story is quite incredible.

pavement bookworm-crop

Philani Dladla. Photo: http://facebook.com/jacaranda942

As a child growing up in KwaZulu Natal he had always loved books. But after moving to Johannesburg to find work, he started taking drugs.

“I left my job and couldn’t afford rent anymore – I lost everything. While living on the streets I noticed how many beggars there were getting money for nothing on street corners. I thought I could be different and actually give people something worthwhile – like a book or book review – in exchange for money.”

So he started selling books on the streets – but only after he had read them and could offer passers by a detailed review.

He’d even adjust the price depending on how he rated each book – from 10 South African Rand (less than US $1) for those he didn’t enjoy, up to 80 Rand (US $6) for his favourites.  He soon became known as the ‘Pavement Bookworm’ and his small business took off.

“With some self-motivation and a lot of self-help books, I made the decision to stop taking drugs. But while I was helping myself I also wanted to help the other people I had been living on the streets with. So I started using the money I got from selling books to buy everyone soup and bread everyday instead of spending that money on drugs. Seeing their smiles motivated me to keep using the little I had to spread happiness. From that point on, I knew I never wanted to go back to being a drug addict.”

Philani decided to share his love of reading with underprivileged children, so set up a Book Reader’s Club in a local park where children would hang out after school, waiting for their parents to finish work.

“I give them books on the condition that they come back and tell me what they learnt from reading it. There are some kids who take books and never come back, but I don’t let that dampen my spirit, because I know there are many more who love to read and who will use books as weapons to fight poverty.

Too many kids lose their way after high school – many of them turn to drugs, alcohol and crime. I want to change that. We don’t just read together – we talk about our hopes, dreams and challenges and support each other in achieving them.”

Philani’s story has inspired people across South Africa and the world – even featuring on CCTV Africa.

He has set up a website where you can support his work by donating books if you live in Johannesburg, or supporting a child in his Book Reader’s Club. What an amazing guy!

Find out more about the Pavement Bookworm.

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HELEN HECTOR
September 1 2015

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EDUCATION

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232
EDUCATION

ONE + YouTube: Join us in saying ALL #GirlsCount

October 11 2017 | By: GUEST BLOGGER

 
 
   

This is a joint post from ONE CEO, Gayle Smith, and YouTube Vice President of Marketing, Danielle Tiedt.

One hundred and thirty million girls will not go to school today. These girls will be denied the joy of reading a great book, the triumph of finally figuring out an equation, and the opportunity to determine their own future.

But it is not just these girls who suffer. The entire world is missing out on a huge opportunity.  The next world-changing breakthrough might be built in a garage in Silicon Valley—but if all girls had access to an education, it could also stem from the imagination of someone in South Sudan.

Closing the gender gap in education could generate an additional $112-152 billion a year for the economies of developing countries. And 130 million more educated girls would lead to 130 million more empowered women in the world.

Neither of us could be where we are today if we had been denied this right. Everything we have achieved in our careers was made possible by the quality education that shaped our lives. A seat at the table, whether in Silicon Valley, Washington, D.C., or Addis Ababa starts with a seat in the classroom. Equality anywhere won’t be possible until girls everywhere get the education they deserve and it is our belief in this world-changing idea that brings us together today to raise our voices for #GirlsCount.

ENG-SEAT-TW-1024x512.jpg

YouTube Creators for Change and ONE are united in the belief that there is power in every voice and that every girl counts. That’s why YouTube and its incredible community of creators have joined with ONE to bring attention to the 130 million girls who don’t yet have access to an education. Our goal is simple: Create the longest video in history by counting every single girl out of school. Visit girlscount.one.org to choose your number and submit your contribution.

Top YouTubers like TheSorryGirls, Whitney White of Naptural85, and Maddu Magalhães are all coming together to say #GirlsCount and demanding that our leaders listen. Aboubakar Idriss has generations of female relatives, including his sister, that are unable to read or write due to being kept out of school and hopes this can shine a light on stories like theirs.

Ensuring that every girl gets the education she deserves is going to take a global effort. Policy-makers and pop stars, CEOs and storytellers, and millions of voices in every country must speak out and urge leaders to act. 130 million girls deserve no less.

Take action today.

130 million girls are out of school. So we’re asking the world to count them and urge our leaders to act.

JOIN THE COUNT

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October 11 2017

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GIRLS & WOMEN

7 Feminist Laws Iceland Has That the World Needs

Every country should have these laws.

 MARCH 29, 2017

Brought to you by: CHIME FOR CHANGE

 

By a lot of measures, Iceland is the best place to be a woman. Iceland starts gender equality lessons in preschool. The country has not just one, but three, laws protecting women at work. Sick of media, treating women as sex objects? That doesn’t fly in Iceland, where a law bans gender discriminatory advertising. Plus, the country was the first to ban strip clubs for feminist reasons. 

Overall, the Nordic country has a near perfect score on the gender-equality scale. For eight years, the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report ranked Iceland No. 1 on its list of countries actively closing gaps in gender equality. In 2009, Iceland became the first country to completely close the gender gap in education and health. And in 2016, Iceland was 87% of the way to closing the gender gap in all sectors. 

Read More: These Are the Best Countries to Be a Woman

Clearly, Iceland is leading the way, so what are the policies and standards in place that the rest of the world is looking up to? 

Here are seven laws and standard practices that support women’s rights, and penalize gender discrimination. 


1. Women’s Equality Is Literally Protected by Law 

 

via GIPHY

 

The Act on Equal Status and Equal Rights of Women and Men is the reason gender equality is a hallmark of Icelandic culture. The law, established in 2000, was revamped in 2008 with the overarching goal of reaching equal rights through all paradigms of society. This law includes information on gender equality for government and businesses to follow. 

Within the law there are nine defined areas of gender discrimination. It identifies differences between indirect and direct gender discrimination, acknowledges gaps in wages, and recognizes that gender-based violence is detrimental to society. 

The law draws out a roadmap to achieving gender equality, even including language on changing negative gender stereotypes. Within the law are 35 articles outlining specific policies on everything from outlawing gender discrimination in schoolbooks and the workplace to buying goods and services. 

 

2. ‘Equal Pay For Equal Work’ Is Mandatory, Almost

 

via GIPHY

 

When Icelanders found out it would be another 122 years before they closed the gender pay gap at the current rate, that was unacceptable. Lawmakers took action, announcing on International Women’s Day that Iceland would require companies to prove they pay employees equal rates for equal work, or pay the fine. 

Parliament is expected to pass the bill becoming the first country to make gender wage discrimination illegal. After passing, the government expects the law to roll into effect by 2020 in an effort to close the gender wage gap. 

Currently women make between 14-18% less than men. But the country is soon to ending the last bit of gender inequality in the workplace. 

“We want to break down the last of the gender barriers in the workplace,” said Thorsteinn Viglundsson, Iceland’s social affairs and equality minister. “History has shown that if you want progress, you need to enforce it.”

 

3. Companies’ Boards Must Include At Least 40% Women

via GIPHY

 

After the shocking corruption and financial collapse in 2009, the government made an effort to include more women in seats of power to reduce corruption. They also prosecuted those responsible for the financial crisis, unlike in the US. 

Article 15 of the Act on Equal Status and Equal Rights of Women and Men states that no public company board or government council or committee may have less than 40% gender equality

The law also states that any company with more than 25 employees must have a gender equality program in place, which will review goals every three years. 

Read More: Women Across Europe Are Walking Out of Work Early to Demand Equal Pay

 

4. Best Parental Leave Policy in the World 

 

via GIPHY

 

Iceland has the best maternity/paternity policy in the world. The official law, created in 2000, is known as the Icelandic Act on Maternity/Paternity and Parental Leave. The law itself was amended in 2006 increasing parental leave from six to nine months. The government covers parental leave for birth, adoption, and foster care for all employees in Iceland, even those who are self-employed paying 80% of earned salary to new parents. Parents split the time of leave equally to ensure children grow up with equal care from both parents, and workplaces are balanced. The policy is truly the gold standard of parental care. 

 

5. From Preschool to College, Kids Learn Gender Equality Matters  

 

via GIPHY

 

After kids grow up with equal time from parents, gender equality lessons don’t stop. Article 23 of the Act on Equal Status and Equal Rights of Women and Men mandates that gender equality must be taught in schools throughout all levels of education. 

That means from early education through university, which is free, all sports, classes, and forms of schooling must include and practice gender equality. Iceland has no time for sexist books or assignments either. 

The law states: “educational materials and textbooks shall be designed in such a way as not to discriminate against either sex.” So you would never see an assignment, like the school in Utah, which forced girls to go on dates with male classmates, telling girls to “keep it to yourself” if they feel fat. 

 

6. Paying For Sex Is Illegal. Stripclubs Are Illegal. Prostitutes Are Victims. 

 

 

Paying for sex is illegal in Iceland. It has been for decades. The difference, however, is in 2007 the government amended the law arguing that most people who turn to soliciting sex have no other option or were coerced by others.  

So instead of penalizing victims of poor circumstances who are often forced into prostitution, the law places criminalization on those who pay for sex, and third parties involved.

The country also banned stripclubs in 2009 for feminist reasoning. The revised law states no business may profit from nudity of employees. The law passed with full support in parliament.

“It is not acceptable that women or people in general are a product to be sold,” said Kolbrún Halldórsdóttir who proposed the ban on strip clubs.

This applies to public advertising too. No ad may belittle any gender or go against the country’s fierce mission to achieve gender equality. 

Read More: Iceland to Be the First Country to Demand Proof of Equal Pay

 

7. There Is a Magical ‘Ministry of Gender Equality’ 

 

via GIPHY

 

Ironically, the caveat to achieving gender equality for Nordic countries is taking it for granted. 

“Our biggest challenge is taking equality for granted. We relax too much. We think everything is done for good. This worries me,” said Gro Bruntland, Norway’s first female prime minister. 

Fortunately, in Iceland, there’s a ministry to complacency on gender equality.  The ministry of gender equality, as in Harry Potter, is magic. But unlike the fictional novel, this ministry is real. 

The country created agency to check and balance progress on advancing equality as part of a revisions to the Act on Equal Status and Equal Rights of Women and Men. The agency includes a three part council which includes the Equal Status Council, the Complaints Committee, and a new Centre for Gender Equality. 

Together these agencies research, advertise, advocate, and check laws on gender equality. Their goal is to create a legal, cultural, historical, social and psychosocial approach to gender equality.

 

Global Citizen and CHIME FOR CHANGE are campaigning to eradicating discriminatory laws that hold girls and women back with #LevelTheLaw. Iceland sets the bar high, but they also prove changing the law works to create equal opportunities. 

Take Action: Sign Petition

 
 
 
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