Iceland Almost Forms Europe’s First Female-Majority Parliament: What We Can Learn

Iceland Parliament
Iceland parliament was on its way to make history with Europe’s first female-majority but a recount of votes made it fall short. It is still remarkable to know that the country has 30 out 63 seats in its parliament filled by women.

No country in Europe other than Iceland has 47.6 percent of women representation in the parliament. The country has crossed Sweden’s mark of 47 percent after the recent elections, which brought six more women to the parliament than the previous session. This also brought Katrín Jakobsdóttir’s coalition government back to power.

According to a report by BBC, some parties in Iceland require a minimum number of female candidates but the parliament does not have any such quotas.

There is a reason why Iceland was able to achieve such impressive numbers in terms of gender representation in the parliament. It is because of the fact that the country practices gender equality in ways that the most developed nations in the world fail to do. Iceland was the most gender-equal nation in the world for 12 continuous years in the World Economic Forum report.

Both men and women get post-natal leaves, the first law of equal pay for men and women was passed in 1961. Iceland was also the first country in the world to elect a female president in 1980.

Only a handful of countries across the world have been to at least hold equal seats in the parliament. Rwanda tops the charts with 61.3 percent women in its lower house. Nicaragua, Cuba, Mexico and United Arab Emirates are other countries with at least 50 percent female representation in their parliaments.

Countries like Iceland have proved to the nations like India, the United States of America, United Kingdom and others that having an equal share of both male and female voices in the government is possible. So what they could not achieve a female-majority parliament, they made a difference in world politics. The 47.6 percent representation in the country’s parliament is the big step in making world politics gender-equal.

Feature Image Credit: Baltic News Network