Reykjavik: In what could be termed a shot in the arm for champions of active women participation in Parliamentary process, Iceland on Sunday became the first European country to elect a women-majority parliament. The Nordic island nation was also the first in Europe to have a female President in 1980.
The Althing Parliament now has 33 women in the 63-seat house occupying 52 per cent of the total strength. Only Sweden comes closest among European nations with around 47 per cent woman representation in its Parliament.
Though Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir’s left-right coalition won a majority of 37 seats, her Left-Green Movement managed a meagre 8, putting her continuity as the PM in jeopardy. Even the future of the alliance also comprising the conservative Independence Party and the centre-right Progressive Party, looks uncertain.
According to AFP, five other countries in the world currently have parliaments where women hold at least half the seats, according to the Inter-Parliamentary Union – Rwanda (61 percent), Cuba (53 percent), Nicaragua (51 percent) and Mexico and the United Arab Emirates (50 per cent).