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Secrets of the Sprakkar

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Secrets of the Sprakkar

Iceland’s Extraordinary Women and How They Are Changing the World


15 min read
8 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Take inspiration from Icelanders to improve gender equality in your workplace, community and the wider world.

Editorial Rating



  • Visionary
  • Engaging
  • Inspiring


Iceland has a lot to teach the rest of the world, says international best-selling author Eliza Reid – a Canadian-born writer, journalist and Iceland’s First Lady. The nation leads the world in closing the gender gap, thanks to the individual and collective actions of its citizens, including Icelandic women, known as the “Sprakkar.” Through initiatives such as developing social safety nets for new parents and creating support networks for women in their communities and workplaces, Icelanders demonstrate that gender equality benefits all people and society as a whole. 


Iceland leads the way in closing the gender gap worldwide.

High levels of gender equality correlate with high levels of happiness, longevity and economic prosperity. Look to the women of Iceland for lessons in improving gender equality – and the quality of life for all citizens. Iceland leads the way in closing the gender gap in education, employment, politics and health, according to the World Economic Forum.

Iceland often appears in top 10 lists of citizen happiness, compared with other countries in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Like the rest of the world, Iceland can still make progress toward improved gender equality. For example, Icelandic women still disproportionately take on domestic responsibilities.

What sets Iceland apart, though, is that the country has normalized the value of gender equality. Eliza Reid interviewed dozens of Icelandic women – “Sprakkar” – from diverse and varying backgrounds, to glean lessons about what they can teach the rest of the world about gender equality. Iceland’s Sprakkar are everyday role models, as they elevate one another’s voices and embrace...

About the Author

Co-founder of the Iceland Writers Retreat, Eliza Reid is a journalist and the First Lady of Iceland.

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