The Feminist Society of Iceland, among others, expressed frustration and confusion with a recent decision made by the Leftist-Green Party to remove Guðfríður Lilja Grétasdóttir (above) from her position as parliamentary party chairman on the day she returned from maternity leave.
Eyjan reports that a statement from the organisation points out that the number of women in positions of power and influence within the party has been decreasing. They say that the Leftist-Greens are not defending their own platform, which supports gender equality in the workplace.
“The decision to remove Guðfríður Lilja from her position as parliamentary party chairman when she returned from maternity leave is not in the spirit of existing maternity leave law,” the statement reads in part, “and is certainly at odds with the Leftist-Green platform on equality issues.”
This is in reference to the fact that existing maternity leave law guarantees a parent’s right to return to the job they left when their leave is over.
The Feminist Society is not alone in their criticism, either, as numerous leftists – from Minister of the Interior Ögmundur Jónasson to former minister Hjörleifur Guttormsson – have also condemned the decision.
Árni Þór Sigurðsson, who replaced Guðfríður Lilja while she was away and will continue on as parliamentary party chairman, told RÚV that he believes the Leftist-Greens to still be the one party in the country defending women’s rights. While there was nothing unusual about the decision to keep him on as parliamentary party chairman, he said, a vote within the party will be taken again this fall.