From Iceland — Iceland's Parliament With More Women Than Ever

Iceland’s Parliament With More Women Than Ever

Published September 8, 2015

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Natsha Nandabhiwat

Iceland’s parliament began session today, and there are now more women serving as MPs than ever before in Icelandic history.

RÚV reports that Iceland’s 63-seat parliament is now 44.4% comprised of women. This beats the previous record of 42.9%.

There have not been new elections since 2013; these changes are rather due to alternates taking new seats. Ásta Guðrún Helgadóttir, an MP for the Pirate Party, has taken the seat previous occupied by Jón Þór Ólafsson, who resigned last month. Sigríður Á. Andersen, an Independence Party MP, has replaced Pétur Blöndal, who passed away last June.

Much has changed where women in the Icelandic parliament is concerned. The first woman to be voted into parliament was Ingibjörg H. Bjarnason, who was elected in 1923. Since then, women have steadily won more seats in parliament. They comprised a fifth of parliamentary seats in 1987; a fourth in 1995; and a third in 1999. It would not be until 2009 that the parliamentary seats comprised of women went over 40%.

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