TALK’n TROUBLE: Looking Forward, Not Back

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2023 is almost behind us. We were fortunate in many ways this year. We highlighted incredible TroubleMakers, distributed funds to awesome Trouble Partners, and learned so much along the way to further the cause and promote equity for women and girls. We certainly have a great deal to be thankful for.

As we look ahead, beyond the December holidays to the pivotal election year on the horizon, Trouble is determined to look forward with hope. Not only for the future of gender equity–despite all the setbacks we’ve seen in our short history–but, for the future of the U.S. and the world.

The fight for our rights in the United States has been marked by resilience, determination, and a relentless pursuit of equality. From the suffragette movement to the ongoing struggle for reproductive freedom and equal pay, Trouble Making women have been at the forefront of shaping a more just society.

We draw inspiration from the past and the present, and from people all around the world. Among the many examples of sista-strength and feminine fortitude, in this moment Trouble calls out the tenacious women of Iceland.

Back in October of 1975–admittedly piggybacking on a legacy of activism–90% of the women of Iceland went on strike. They refused to work, cook, or look after anyone for a single day! It was a moment that changed how women were seen in that country and helped put Iceland at the forefront of the fight for equality. Their achievements in seizing political power served as a beacon of hope and a testament to what is possible when women unite and use our collective influence to create our own opportunities to make change happen. Those women shaped their nation’s policies and moved gender equality from a goal to a reality.

In 1980, Vigdis Finnbogadottir, a divorced single mother, became the president of Iceland, Europe’s first female president, and the first woman in the world to be democratically elected as a head of state. (Please read that again. Try it one more time, out loud…) She credits that 1975 strike for making her election possible. Vigdis (Icelanders are all referred to by their first name) went on to hold the position for 16 years. Subsequently, Iceland has become known as “the world’s most feminist country”. Library of Congress

Nonetheless, again this year, on the anniversary of that first (not the only) strike, tens of thousands brought together by grassroots organizing took to the streets to emphasize that the work is ongoing. Their slogan in 2023 is, “You call this equality?”

“Iceland is talked about, like it’s an equality paradise,” said Freyja Steingrímsdóttir, one of the strike organizers and communications director for BSRB, the Icelandic Federation for Public Workers. “But an equality paradise should not have a 21% wage gap and 40% of women experiencing gender-based or sexual violence in their lifetime. That’s not what women around the world are striving for.” The Guardian

Iceland is a small country setting a huge example for women around the world. TroubleMakers take note. Exploring their initiatives can provide valuable insights into how policies and practices can be crafted to uplift women in political spheres. Emphasis on work-life balance contributes to an environment where women can actively participate in politics without compromising their personal lives. If we share this approach politically, it could contribute to dismantling structural barriers that hinder women’s progress, not only here but in other parts of the world.

Did you know that consistently in the U.S. more women than men register and vote in elections at all levels? Yet still, while progress has been made, the representation of women in U.S. politics is not reflective of the population. Together–only together–we can address the challenges that persist.

We gotta get our shit together TM’s!

Look at the crises we are currently witnessing across the globe: horror in the Middle East, ongoing war in Ukraine, lingering tensions across Africa and elsewhere–as always, conflicts disproportionately impacting women and children. Be reminded that the decision makers behind all this strife and discord are all male leaders with nearly ZERO female voices at the table.

TroubleMakers never succumb to despair. We only ask, “What can I do?” Symbolically, Trouble is choosing to dedicate this month’s blog content to a hopeful, positive change-force for end-of-year inspiration. 

Talk to your friends and family. Get involved in your communities. Speak up to your local, state, and national leadership. For the love of equality everywhere, please VOTE! 

Troublemakers.org has highlighted strides, accomplishments, incredible ongoing work, and some of the coolest people we can find who do the real stuff to make a change in the world that can bring us closer to justice and gender equity. Please join us in any way you can. Buy a gift from Trouble this giving season. Know you are supporting an important, world-changing, just cause. Talk to your peeps and keep hope alive for justice and gender equity here and everywhere. The struggle is real and the change is ours to make. 

Here’s to TroubleMakers everywhere! Here’s to 2024 and beyond!

Stay tuned for more insights and inspiration.

Share what you learn here with the TroubleMakers you know and love.

SPEAK UP – SPEAK OUT.  THIS REALLY MATTERS.

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