Ingibjorg Solrun Gisladottir was the Foreign Minister of Iceland from 2007 to 2009, and she spoke to Jim Paymar at the 2017 Spirit Of Humanity Forum….
Jim Paymar – You have seen enormous changes take place, from the great recession in Iceland, and you grew out of that, what is the importance of the SOH Forum?
IG – I think it is quite important. I had a hand in getting it to Iceland and the reason why I felt it was important to get it here is because Iceland is a good venue for such a forum as a peaceful country with no army, but secondly I thought it would be good for Iceland to have it because we were coming out of the financial recession. The people were quite divided, and this could be a kind of healing, to bring this to Iceland. Also we needed to focus more on spiritual values, rather than focussing so much on economic and financial issues which we had been doing for a decade or more, as most countries in the the world
JP – You came in 2012, and you are here in 2017, what had the Forum meant to you personally?
IG – It has meant a lot to me. I am no longer in politics, I was working for the UN for five years after too. That meant a lot to me, and this was very important for me to look inside, look at my own values, my inner strength and how to use these in every day wok and not to forget it. We come to nourish the ego a lot, and not what is inside of us, so this helped me a lot.
JP – How does the SOH Forum help to create a better environment and more empowerment for women?
IG – I think it is quite important. When you work with women in countries like Afghanistan, women are not in power, not where decisions are made. And women tend to approach things in different ways to men in power. I think they often approach them from an inner place, using their inner values, and it is important for us to not lose this. For me it is important women are to be everywhere decisions are made. They are different, they have not been in power, and it is important they are. It is important they don’t also become like men in power and remember where they are coming from.
JP – Why is Iceland at the forefront of bringing women into political power?
IG – I think because women in Iceland took action to change this. First, the female president being elected, then a women’s party in 1982, and we just decided to focus especially on the positive things that are part of a woman’s identity. Not only on negative things, in being undervalued, but instead of that we focused on the positive things that society was losing in not having women represented everywhere. That was the strength, by focusing on the positive things.