A 15-year-old girl in Iceland was just granted the right to use her own name. Iceland’s strict laws on names had previously barred the girl from officially using her name because officials found it too masculine.
Reykjavik District Court ruled Thursday that the name “Blaer,” which means “light breeze,” can now be used for females. So now, Blaer Bjarkardottir and other girls with the same name will be able to legally use their name in official documents such as passports.
Blaer, who had previously been referred to only as “girl” by Icelandic officials, said she is 'very happy' she can finally use the name her mother had given her at birth.
"I'm glad this is over. Now I expect I'll have to get new identity papers. Finally I'll have the name Blaer in my passport,” she said after the ruling.
Iceland is one of a few countries, such as Denmark and Germany, that has strict rules regarding its citizens’ names. According to Icelandic law, all names must fit Icelandic grammar and pronunciation rules, and as in the case with Blaer, must be gender appropriate.
Blaer’s mother, Bjork Eidsdottir, said in an interview earlier this year that she did not know the name was against the law when she gave her daughter the name.
Despite the government’s protest that the name taints the Icelandic language, the Reykjavik District Court claimed that Blaer had a right to her own name according to Iceland’s constitution and Europe’s human rights conventions.