Iceland Announced a Men-Only Conference on Gender Equality at the U.N.

Photo: Rune Johansen/Getty Images

Almost overlooked in all the U.N. hubbub over the last week was Iceland’s radical plan for advancing gender equality: The announcement of a men-only “barbershop” conference, which the nation plans to co-host with South America’s Suriname. 

We want to bring men and boys to the table on gender equality in a positive way,” said foreign minister Gunnar Bragi. “This will be a unique conference as it will be the first time at the United Nations that we bring together only men leaders to discuss gender equality.”

Men’s rights activists on Reddit are on the case, with one dubbing the gathering “Footstools for Feminists.” Clever.

The conference is apparently part of the larger U.N. campaign to get men and boys interested in women’s rights. (Think Emma Watson and #HeforShe.) But there’s something a bit off about excluding women from a conference about women. You know, just some dudes sitting around, plotting how to fix problems that plague another gender — also known as, well, all of history.

Next year, the Czech Republic will host a conference on rising sea levels. Those with coastal regions need not apply.

Men Only at Iceland’s Gender Equality Conference