Fewer women may run in coming elections

Fewer women may run in the Icelandic parliamentary elections scheduled for April, due to the worsening economic situation, said Ms. Ásta R. Johannesdottir, minister of Social Affairs and Social Security in a meeting held by several women’s organizations on the traditional Icelandic women’s day last Sunday.
Family obligations and costly primary elections hinder women’s participation in politics, Ms. Johannesdottir said. Women’s parliamentary career is shorter than men’s, and only four Icelandic women have held a seat in parliament for 20 years or longer.

Since the Icelandic Parliament, Althingi, was restored in 1845, only 69 women have held a seat in parliament. In all, 655 individuals have been members of parliament in this time period.

In the same meeting, Ms. Siv Fridleifsdottir, chairman of the parliamentary group of the Progressive Party, said that she worried about women’s political status in Iceland. Although many women wanted to participate, they did not run for leading positions often enough. She urged voters to support women in politics.