Iceland, the North Atlantic island of 371,000 people which ranked the most gender-equal country in the world for the 12th year, has voted more women than men into its parliament, a first in Europe, as the final result of election revealed Sunday. This would mark an increase of nine seats from women from the last election in 2017. “In a historical and international light, the most significant news is that women are now first time in majority in the Icelandic parliament, and a first in Europe. This is good news,” President Gudni Johannesson declared. In the world, – Rwanda, Cuba and Nicaragua also have more women than men in parliament. Mexico and the United Arab Emirates have an exact 50/50 split. The current government in Iceland, which consists of Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir’s Left-Green Movement, the conservative Independence Party and the Progressive Party, said before the election that they would negotiate continued cooperation if they held their majority. The Independence Party again became the biggest in parliament with 16 seats.
Iceland offers the same parental leave to both men and women, and its first law on equal pay for men and women dates back to 1961. It was the first country in the world to elect a female president in 1980. Among incoming members of parliament in Iceland are the oldest and youngest lawmakers ever to take a seat in Iceland: 72-year-old burger joint owner Tomas Tomasson and 21-year-old law student Lenya Run Karim, a daughter of Kurdish immigrants.