Get connected in Iceland
Get in touch with our country contact in Iceland here.
January 2022: read a document explaining the effects of self-ID in Iceland (in English).
Update on 'gender identity' in Iceland - August 2020
Iceland passed a full self-ID in July 2019.
The law can be found here in Icelandic.
The most worrying parts of the law are pointed out below:
In paragraph 2 they define the word and concepts and in the law they define sex as a collective term that "amongst other things (those other things are not defined) describes: the sexual phenotype (defined in the law as chromosomes, hormones, sex-organs and gonads) gender, gender identity and gender expression".
So biological sex is conflated with 'gender', 'gender identity' and 'gender expression'.
In paragraph 3 it says amongst other things that:
Every single individual has unlimited right to define their sex (according to the definition given above).
Every individual has also an unlimited right to have their sex, 'gender identity' and 'gender expression' recognized/affirmed.
This last part is an extremely open statement but seems to make it illegal for people to deny to affirm /recognize other people’s "felt sex and gender "
In paragraph 4 it is stated that every individual above 18 years of age can change their legal sex.
In the law it is stated that it is NOT permitted to make surgery, psychological or other medical treatment a requirement for changing legal sex.
In this paragraph it is also stated that in all official documents and registries the individual shall be registered according to the new sex.
This last part will of course change all statistics.
In paragraph 8 it is stated that after an individual has changed his/her sex they will have all the legal rights of the new sex.
This means in theory that a biological male can for example take a political seat reserved for women or a position in a company that is meant to even out the playing field in male dominated areas.
The rest of the laws are about surgeries and interventions on children and some of the text is about intersex children.
So in short, the law mixes up sex and 'gender', the law gives any man the right to change his legal sex and thereby get all the legal rights an Icelandic woman has and that can have negative effects on women in politics, business, sports and on our single sex spaces etc.. The law also undermines all statistical analysis.
The effect of the law has already start to show in the society. The capital of Reykjavik has decided to make all bathrooms in public buildings unisex. At this moment, the" labor/work inspection" has said this is not going to happen in workplaces as people want separate bathrooms for men and women. But politicians and TRA lobby are taking these things further by legal actions and using the self-id Law as a reason to make bathrooms unisex. They say sex separated bathrooms are in breach with the self-id law.
The official spokesperson for Trans people in Iceland has written articles in the papers saying that the self-id law should allow trans people to be able to use changing rooms and compete in sports according to their "felt-sex"/gender. There have been a few incidents already, one where a trans man was asked to leave the men’s changing room and at two occasions trans women have been asked to use the gender neutral changing rooms instead of the women's changing rooms. This was in breach of the self -id law according to the TRA, and the thing is that the third gender neutral changing room was not acceptable according to the TRA spokesperson as it alienated trans people.
Unfortunately there are not many gender critical or radical feminists in Iceland speaking up on these issues. It is on some part because the law was passed quietly and some Icelandic feminists have not realised what is at stake. The worst thing is that there are feminist figures sometimes involved in women's rights organizations that are quick to call any woman that questions trans ideology and the self Id law "TERFS" and "transphobes".