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Iceland's gender equality conference will only include men

Iceland has taken a significant step toward gender equality, organizing a conference to discuss potential measures for equal rights. The catch? The conference is only open to men.

The "Barbershop" conference will encourage men to discuss gender equality, specifically violence against women, Icelandic Minister for Foreign Affairs and External Trade Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson announced at the U.N. General Assembly on Monday.

"For our part, we want to bring men and boys to the table on gender equality in a positive way," Sveinsson said at the event. Sveinsson said the conference will be "the first time at the United Nations that we bring together only men leaders to discuss gender equality." The conference will be held in January, and it will be co-hosted by Suriname.

The news of the conference comes after Emma Watson announced the HeforShe campaign, which encourages men and boys to work with women for gender equality. Still, it seems a bit odd that Iceland's conference would purposely exclude women from an event aimed at helping them succeed.

"Without the full and equal participation of women in all spheres of society, including in decision-making, it will be impossible to make real and lasting progress in addressing sustainable development changes," Sveinsson stated. That's all well and good — so perhaps Sveinsson should start by taking his own advice.