Iceland and Suriname to stage male-only gender equality conference

Iceland and Suriname to stage male-only gender equality conferenceIceland Foreign Minister Gunnar Bragi announced at a speech in front of the United Nations that his country and Suriname will hold a conference to discuss gender equality.

However, Bragi surprised those in attendance by adding that only males will be invited to attend. He explained, though, that Iceland wanted to promote gender equality so believed it was a good idea to invite “men and boys to the table” to talk about the issue on a positive way.

The foreign minister went on to say that the two countries will stage the “Barbershop” conference in January. He explained that gender equality will be discussed by the men present, with particular focus on the issue of violence against women. He added that the conference would be “unique” as the United Nations has never before convened a conference in which only men leaders were invited.

Bragi was speaking on the 20th anniversary of the UN women’s conference, when world leaders stated that “women’s rights are human rights”.

The North Atlantic nation and Suriname are at different ends of the worldwide rankings in terms of women’s rights. The World Economic Forum ranked Iceland in first place in gender equality in health, economic and other issues in the Global Gender Gap Report 2013. Suriname, meanwhile, came in 110th position.