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Iceland has a majority female parliament, a first in Europe


Women will form the majority in Iceland’s new parliament, a first in Europe, according to the final parliamentary election results released on Sunday.

Of the 63 seats in the Althingi, 33 will be held by women, or 52.3%, according to projections based on the final results of the ballot held on Saturday. According to data compiled by the World Bank, no country in Europe has ever crossed the symbolic 50% mark, with Sweden so far in first place with 47% of women MPs.

While several parties reserve a minimum proportion of women among their candidates themselves, no law imposes a quota of women for legislative elections in Iceland, according to the democracy organization International Idea.

Around the world, five other countries currently have at least half of women in parliament, according to the International Inter-Parliamentary Union: Rwanda (61%), Cuba (53%), Nicaragua (51%) as well as Mexico and the United States. United Arab Emirates (50%).

At the head of the most egalitarian countries in the world

Iceland is regularly at the forefront of the cause of women. In October 1975, the country was the scene of a major unprecedented women’s strike to demand better wages and a larger place.

The country, which now has 370,000 inhabitants, was also the first to democratically elect a woman head of state in 1980.

More recently, since 2018, he has been applying a pioneering pay equity law. If Iceland is not quite a paradise of parity, the country shows good results on most indicators: “Le Monde” recalled in January 2021 that according to Eurostat data, the rate of Icelandic women employ 83% (61.5% in France). They are better represented in Parliament, in ministries and administrations than in any other state. Parental leave is almost taken equally between the two parents.

The daily also recalls that the World Economic Forum ranks it, in its 2020 report, at the top of the most egalitarian countries in the world, for 12 consecutive years, ahead of Finland and Norway. France is fifteenth.

Green people are losing ground

With 37 seats out of 63, the legislative elections held on Saturday bolstered the majority of the left-right alliance in power for four years, but the party of the left-wing environmentalist Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdóttir lost ground and emerged in a fragile position with eight seats.

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Her two right-wing allies find themselves in a position of strength, with the possibility on paper of forming a different coalition with parties other than the Left-Greens of Ms. Jakobsdottir.



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