In Icelandic history, a woman’s place might be at sea

In Icelandic history, a woman’s place might be at sea

There isn’t much of a gender gap in Iceland, except in its maritime industry. But go back in time, and you’ll find women pulling in nets and steering the helm. A painting of Foreman Thurídur by Marian McConnell. Habitually clad in trousers, a rust-coloured...

For the world’s most gender-equal country, Iceland has a maritime industry that is surprisingly gender inequitable. Why and how has the status of Icelandic seafaring women regressed over the years? This piece by Ashley Perl gives an overview. In the article’s accompanying classroom activity, have students try their hand at uncovering the history of traditionally gendered professions in a research assignment well-suited for Women’s History Month.

Exercise: Read the article as a class, and then discuss the factors that have contributed to an increasing gender gap in the fishing and maritime industries in Iceland. Afterwards, have students select a profession that has a large gender imbalance in your country (perhaps teaching, nursing, engineering, etc.). Instruct students to research the history of the profession to see if these gender imbalances were the case historically, too. As part of this assignment, you may consider teaching research skills like assessing source credibility and using databases like Google Scholar

Tag: fishing