Sep 26, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Iceland elects Europe's first majority female parliament

Photo: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Iceland has elected its first female-majority parliament, with women holding 33 seats in the North Atlantic island nation's 63-seat parliament after all the votes were tallied Sunday, AP reports.

Why it matters: The outcome is a landmark for gender equality in the country — and Europe as a whole — and came despite a poor election outcome for left-leaning parties, where female candidates are more frequently frontrunners.

  • The center-right Independence Party amassed the largest share of votes, winning 16 seats, according to AP.
  • The incoming members of parliament include the oldest and youngest candidates to take a seat in Iceland.

The big picture: Though inequities have persisted, women have generally seen more representation in legislative bodies in recent years, according to an analysis by the Inter-Parliamentary Union.

  • The global share of women in national parliaments was 25.5% as of Jan. 1, a slight uptick from 24.9% a year earlier.

What they're saying: "I want to improve Iceland's treatment of refugees and asylum-seekers," Lenya Run Karim, the youngest incoming member of parliament, told AP. "Our ideas need to be heard more."

  • "It is no longer acceptable to ignore gender equality when selecting candidates," Silja Bara Omarsdottir, a politics professor, said, per AP.
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