Statement from W.O.M.E.N in Iceland regarding the need for anti-bias policies and awareness campaigns.

W.O.M.E.N in Iceland has often attempted to flag the need for anti-bias policy and awareness programs here in Iceland. We defined prejudice and discrimination as one of the underlying reasons for women of foreign origin to be left so vulnerable to abuse and harassment while also experiencing difficulties in getting support, when we marched forward in the #MeToo movement. We often counsel and support women of multi-ethnic origins who experience discrimination based on their origin, ethnicity, physical or linguistic abilities and/ or religious or sexual orientation.

Recent events related to online bullying and racial targeting of Deputy Member of Parliament Lenya Rún Taha Karim and a minor being racially profiled and publicly taken into police custody, have again highlighted the need for anti-bias awareness campaigns, diversity training, and a change of perspective in general regarding diversity and unity. No person should fear for their safety or security because of distinguishing features that make them unique. We are all unique.

“The diversity of humanity is our greatest strength. Where ethnic or religious groups live side by side in harmony, diversity can spur creativity, learning and innovation.” Mr. Wu Hongbo, UN DESA’s former Under-Secretary General. But for this statement to ring true, it requires effort and desire from both individuals and the larger society.

W.0.M.E.N in Iceland strongly condemns the current events reminding us all of the derogatory and discriminatory actions and behaviors that lie under the surface in society. We encourage policymakers and those responsible for providing public services to seek diversity training and implement policy and practices which support us in utilizing the strengths found in our diversity.

We are willing to do our part to support all efforts or campaigns to raise awareness and support positive inclusive change in society

Board Members at W.O.M.E.N in Iceland

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