Secrets of the Sprakkar
“Secrets of the Sprakkar is a fascinating window into what a more gender-equal world could look like, and why it’s worth striving for. Iceland is doing a lot to level the playing field: paid parental leave, affordable childcare, and broad support for gender equality as a core value. Reid takes us on an exploration not only around this fascinating island, but also through the triumphs and stumbles of a country as it journeys towards gender equality.”
-Hillary Rodham Clinton
Iceland is the best place on earth to be a woman-but why?
For the past twelve years, the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report has ranked Iceland number one on its list of countries closing the gap in equality between men and women. What is it about Iceland that makes many women’s experience there so positive? Why has their society made such meaningful progress in this ongoing battle, from electing the world’s first female president to passing legislation specifically designed to help even the playing field at work and at home? And how can we learn from what Icelanders have already discovered about women’s powerful place in society and how increased fairness benefits everyone?
Eliza Reid, the First Lady of Iceland, examines her adopted homeland’s attitude toward women-the deep-seated cultural sense of fairness, the influence of current and historical role models, and, crucially, the areas where Iceland still has room for improvement. Reid’s own experience as an immigrant from small-town Canada who never expected to become a first lady is expertly interwoven with interviews with dozens of sprakkar (“extraordinary women”) to form the backbone of an illuminating discussion of what it means to move through the world as a woman, and how the rules of society play more of a role in who we view as “equal” than we may understand. Secrets of the Sprakkar is a powerful and atmospheric portrait of a tiny country that could lead the way forward for us all.
"A warm and intimate exploration of what one small country can teach the world about gender equality. Eliza Reid charts her personal journey from a Canadian farm to Iceland's Presidential Residence and along the way proves to be the best possible guide to the historical, geographical and cultural factors that helped women thrive and built a vibrant modern society." - Geraldine Brooks, Pulitzer Prize-winning author "Reading Secrets of the Sprakkar is like sitting down with your favorite, smartest, warmest girlfriend and hearing all about the extraordinary women, history, and culture of her tiny adopted country. Reid celebrates Iceland and its attitudes toward women while also discussing where it has some room for improvement. By the time I finished this book, I felt I had traveled to Iceland and gotten to know its beauty and quirks and, most importantly, its sprakkar." - Ann Hood "Secrets of the Sprakkar is a fascinating window into what a more gender-equal world could look like, and why it's worth striving for. Iceland is doing a lot to level the playing field: paid parental leave, affordable childcare, and broad support for gender equality as a core value. Reid takes us on an exploration not only around this fascinating island, but also through the triumphs and stumbles of a country as it journeys towards gender equality."-Hillary Rodham Clinton "Iceland is full of extraordinary women, and in this delightful and engaging book Eliza Reid will introduce you to many of them. Prepare to be charmed and enlightened by the sprakkar, and their secrets for living meaningful and fulfilling lives. And don't be surprised if you find yourself booking a trip to visit." - Elizabeth Renzetti "What a fun read! Eliza Reid's love letter to Iceland is, by turn, quirky, charming, surprisingly honest, always eye-opening and highly entertaining. And though it deals with serious topics, it does so with a light touch and a wonderfully readable style. A perfect mix of memoir and current affairs. I can't recommend Secrets of the Sprakkar enough, especially to guys, to understand how equality and women's rights are in everyone's best interest. We're all in this together, after all." - Will Ferguson
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