MP Proposes Single-Day, All-Woman Parliament - The Reykjavik Grapevine

MP Proposes Single-Day, All-Woman Parliament

Published June 7, 2015

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Left-Green MP Steingrímur J. Sigfússon has proposed an all-woman parliament on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in Iceland.

RÚV reports that Steingrímur suggested in parliament last Friday that, on June 19, men in parliament take a leave of absence for the day, and let their next available woman alternate have their seat instead. This all-woman parliament would preside for the day, on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of women in Iceland getting the right to vote.

The single-day women’s parliament is similar to an idea proposed last week by Independence Party MP Ragnheiður Ríkharðsdóttir to create a legally established two-year, all-woman parliament for 2017 to 2019, after which the people could decide for themselves if they wanted the idea to continue.

Many male members of parliament objected to this idea on the grounds of the importance of equality, despite the first woman MP taking a seat in Iceland’s parliament in 1923 – about 993 years after parliament’s creation in Iceland.

Steingrímur’s single-day women’s parliament was reportedly better received by his colleagues. Progressive MP Haraldur Einarsson, for one, stated that he was up for the idea.

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