Iceland elects Europe’s first female majority parliament

Iceland elects Europe's first female majority parliament
Iceland's Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir casting her vote on Saturday. Source: Getty Images
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Daily US Times: Iceland is set to make history by becoming the first European country to elect a female majority parliament.

According to projections based on the final election results, 52% seats or 33 of the 63 seats in the Althingi have been won by women.

This would mark an increase of nine seats from the 2017’s election.

No other country in Europe has breached the 50% threshold. Sweden came closest at 47%, according to data from the Inter Parliamentary Union.

Unlike some other countries, Iceland doesn’t have legal quotas on female representation in the country’s parliament, though some parties do require a minimum number of candidates be women.

Iceland has long been considered a leader in gender equality and was ranked the most gender-equal country in the world for the 12th year running in a World Economic Forum report released in March.

It offers the same parental leave to both women and men, and its first law on equal pay for women and men dates back to 1961. It was also the first nation in the world to elect a female president in 1980.

Lenya Rún Taha Karim of the opposition Pirate Party has been elected, who is just 21 years old and becomes the youngest MP in the country’s history.

She told reporters: “I just woke up not so long ago – I’m not going to lie about it – and turned off the phone in airplane mode and it was all exploding. Full, full, full of messages and I managed to look in one message and it said: Congratulations , so I assumed I had gotten in.”

Just five other countries in the world currently have over 50% female representation in parliament.

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