Leftist-Green Reykjavík city councilperson Sóley Tómasdóttir told
reporters that Norway’s gender quota laws for places of employment has
worked, and should be adopted here.
Iceland’s government is, for the first time in its history, now comprised of an even number of male and female ministers. However, men still outnumber women in parliament. In the business sector, male managers outnumber female managers by extraordinarily higher numbers.
Minister of Social Affairs Árni Páll Árnason, addressing this issue, told attendees of a conference that if this situation did not change by the new year, that legislative changes would need to be made. Tómasdóttir agreed, telling Vísir that gender quota laws in Norway have worked to even out the male-to-female ratio of managers.
“We have been a democracy for 60 years,” she told reporters, “and have lived in this country for a thousand years, but never have women been in power on equal footing with men, so it is quite clear that we need to take some sort of action, whether temporary or not.”
Icelandic legislation can and does control many business practices, she pointed out, so it would not necessarily take a constitutional change to put a gender quota into action.