Highlight of the month

A few words on the education and rights of women

The 160 years´ anniversary of the birth of Bríet Bjarnhéðinsdóttir is currently commemorated. She was an entrepreneur in the fight for gender equality in Iceland. She was born on the 27th of September 1856 and died in 1940. Whilst still young she began pondering equality issues, especially the different opportunities the sexes had to obtain education. In 1885 she was the first woman in Iceland to have a journal article published. The title of the article was Nokkur orð um menntun og réttindi kvenna (Eptir unga stúlku í Reykjavík)  (A few words on the education and rights of women (By a young woman in Reykjavík)) and was published under the pseudonym Æsa in the journal Fjallkonan, which was edited by Valdimar Ásmundsson who later became her husband. In the article Bríet wonders about women´s lack of interest about their rights and encourages them to seek education. She also writes that the differentiation in the upbringing of the sexes is unacceptable and contributes to the subordination of women to men in society. She considers it totally unrealistic that women’s´ calling lies only in doing housework. Bríet Bjarnhéðinsdóttir archives are preserved at the


Here you can read Bríet´s article on timarit.is:



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