From Iceland — Embarrassment At The Parliamentary Assembly Of The Council Of Europe

Embarrassment At The Parliamentary Assembly Of The Council Of Europe

Published June 24, 2013

The Icelandic delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) was challenged today in Strasbourg, on grounds of gender inequality.

At the opening day of the Assembly‘s summer plenary session, José Mendes Bota, Portuguese representative, made the challenge, declaring “They’re all men,” as he pointed out that national delegations should include women members at least in the same percentage as in their parliaments and, at a very minimum, at least one woman appointed as a Representative.

The delegation from Iceland consists of three male parliament members; Ögmundur Jónasson, MP for The Left Green Movement and former Minister of Human Rights; Karl Garðasson, newly elected MP for The Progressive Party and Brynjar Níelsson, newly elected MP for The Independence Party and former president of the Icelandic Bar Association.

The Assembly’s Committee on Rules of Procedure, Immunities and Institutional Affairs will now consider the matter, and the Assembly should reach a final decision on Wednesday afternoon. The members of the Icelandic delegation may take their seats provisionally in the Assembly until then, with voting and speaking rights.

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