[Live] Iceland's former head of state Vigdís Finnbogadóttir: "Women need more self-confidence!"



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Copyright: Pictures from our Interviewfb, also from Geir Ólafsson.

[Live] Iceland's former head of state Vigdís Finnbogadóttir:Iceland is not only top football, but also women's rights: Vigdís Finnbogadóttirm was the first democratically elected president of the world from 1980 to 1996. At the same time, she was a single mother. In an interview, she talks about how women can combine a child and a career.Vigdís Finnbogadóttir, born 1930, studied literature at the University of Grenoble and at the Sorbonne in Paris as well as theater studies at the University of Copenhagen. She completed her studies at the University of Iceland with language studies in English and French, and a thesis on English and French literature. She also earned a pedagogical degree. She worked as a French teacher, as a tour guide for the Icelandic Tourist Office and in the education of travel guides and was also involved in the theater scene: She was artistic director of the Reykjavík theater group Leikfélag Reykjavíkur and 1972 - 1980 director of the Municipal Theater Reykjavík. Until 1980 she designed and moderated a French language program on Icelandic television, where she also had her own cultural program. From 1976 to 1980, Vigdís was also a member of the Council for Cultural Affairs in the Nordic countries.


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Ms Finnbogadóttir, you were Xnumx for many years the Icelandic state and at the same time the child who was a mother, while many women still fail in leadership positions on this balancing act. How did you manage this?

Overview

This is simply the result of a good work organization: I got help. For example, for the household or the care of my daughter.

This sounds very simple indeed. But will not it be a question of money?

Overview

No, this is mainly about intelligence: women have to be confident, self-confident and know what they want. Then they can organize their work accordingly.

And they have to make it clear to the men that it is better for society if women and men are equal and also share the parenting.

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That sounds very combative ...

Overview

Not at all: women should not fight against men, but with equal rights co-operation with them. Only through cooperation is good work organization possible.

A society in which a gender is disadvantaged can not work. Only together can things succeed.

Women, children and careers - what does that look like in Iceland today?

Overview

With my daughter, who now has a child herself, this works perfectly: She and her husband are fully employed and usually work until 5.

Her daughter is in kindergarten. Sometimes one of the two has to work longer, then the two have to organize themselves - one can not say it often enough: the right organization is important.

Do you see yourself as a role model for the young women today?

Overview

I - a role model? In any case, I did not want to become President of the Republic. They had to persuade me. Then I just did 16 years of my duty.

I did quite different jobs at the time, including a tour guide, French lessons, and a theater before I became president.

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What are your tasks today?

Overview

My most important project at the moment is the International Center for Multilingualism and Intercultural Understanding, which opens 2014. I am really committed to this, because the learning of languages ​​intensifies the understanding of other cultures and is therefore an important prerequisite for world peace.

Why?

Overview

One can see again and again how closely cultural knowledge and language learning are linked. For example, the interest in the German language and culture in our schools has gone back since the Goethe Institute has closed.

Here, too, we want to revive the interest in the German language with the Center. We would be glad if German artists, researchers or teachers would support us here.

Which languages ​​do you speak yourself?

Overview

Icelandic natural, besides English and French and also a little German. I understand German better than I speak.


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