Iceland: women are no longer in the majority in Parliament following a recount

Iceland briefly believed it had become the first country in Europe with an absolute majority of women in parliament, but a Sunday night recount of the final election results finally brought them back below 50%, an election official told AFP.

Following this new count which changed some votes in one of the six constituencies of the country, due to the very complex Icelandic electoral system, three women lost the seat that was promised to them and the share of deputies in the new Parliament fell. from 33 to 30, or 47.6% of the seats, Ingi Tryggvason, chairman of the local electoral commission, told AFP.

According to the first results of the poll, 33 of the 63 seats in the Althingi were to be filled by women. Or 52.3% of elected officials.

According to World Bank data, the symbolic 50% mark has never been crossed in Europe. So far Sweden has taken the lead in this area, with 47% female members.

Iceland, champion of gender equality

Information held by the International Inter-Parliamentary Union indicates that five other countries around the world currently have at least half of women in parliament. These are Rwanda (61%), Cuba (53%), Nicaragua (51%), Mexico and finally the United Arab Emirates (50%).

In 1975, Icelandic women fought for their rights, declaring a major unprecedented women’s strike in order to obtain better wages and a greater place in society. Five years later, in 1980, the country was the first to democratically elect a woman head of state, Vigdís Finnbogadóttir.

Iceland has maintained this trajectory as the country has led the World Economic Forum’s ranking for gender equality for 12 consecutive years. In particular, it has applied a pioneering pay equity law since 2018.

During these legislative elections, organized on Saturday 25 September, the majority of the left-right alliance, in power for four years, was consolidated with 37 seats out of 63. The party of the left-wing environmentalist Prime Minister, Katrin Jakobsdóttir, is On the other hand, finds itself weakened, winning only eight seats.

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