Iceland Narrowly Misses Electing Europe's First Female-Majority Parliament
A surprise vote recount deprived Iceland of forming Europe's first female-majority parliament.
Iceland almost created history in gender parity by electing Europe's first female-majority parliament. The celebrations, however, were brief as a late recount showed that it had just fallen short of that milestone.
The initial vote count showed that women had won 33 seats (52 percent) in Iceland's 63-seats parliament, the Althing. A few hours later, a recount in Western Iceland changed the tally to 30 seats, which make up 47.6 percent women in the parliament, as per a Reuters report.
According to RUV, the recount was called because very few votes separated the parties contending for the one equalisation seat of the constituency. The miscount had a huge impact on the rest of the country.
The election results were not published on the website of the National Electoral Commission. Hence, they could not be immediately reached for any further comments, Reuters reported.
Female-Majority Parliaments Around the World
Presently, there are only three countries in the world that have parliaments with female-majority. African country Rwanda leads with 61.3 percent women in its lower house, according to data from Inter-Parliamentary Union
It is followed by Cuba with 53.4 percent women and Nicaragua with 50.6 percent. Mexico and United Arab Emirates are both at 50 percent with equal representation for men and women.
In Europe, Iceland has the highest representation of women in Parliament, at nearly 48 percent. It is ahead of Swedan and Finland with 47 percent and 46 per cent of women in parliament, respectively.
Iceland as a Catalyst of Gender Equality and Its Electoral Politics
Iceland was declared the most gender-equal country in the world for the 12th time in a row in the Global Gender Gap Report 2021 by World Economic Forum.
In 1980, it became the first country in the world to elect a female president. Its first law on equal pay for men and women goes back to 1961.
As per RUV, opinion polls predicted the current coalition government would fall short of majority. However, an increase in the support of the centre-right Progressive Party pushed the coalition's total count to 37 seats.
Members of the governing coalition consisting of Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir's Left-Green Movement, the Conservative Independence Party and the Progressive Party assured of their continuous cooperation if they held majority, before the elections.
(With inputs from Reuters.)
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