The Stream

The changing face of Iceland’s politics

What will the future of Iceland look like with a gender-inclusive government leading the way?

The only clear winner in Iceland’s snap election Saturday was women. No political party captured a majority in parliament, but women won nearly half the seats. As anti-establishment parties gain influence, including the female-lead Pirate Party, women could have a bigger impact on Iceland’s future than ever before.
The snap election was triggered by April’s resignation of Prime Minister Sigmunder Gunnlaugson following the leak of the “Panama Papers”, which exposed offshore assets of high-profile figures.
The prime minister who replaced Gunnlaugson submitted his own resignation after his Progressive Party lost its majority in parliament following Saturday’s election. Without a clear majority, it is now open season for deal-making between all of Iceland’s political parties. That could be good news for the Pirate Party, which more than doubled its parliamentary seats, promoting a platform of governmental transparency, free health care, decriminalizing drug use and citizenship for Edward Snowden.
Polls suggested the Pirates were on track to win a majority, but they came up short, leaving leader Birgitta Jonsdottir to try to form a five-party coalition. If that happens, the next prime minister could be a woman because three of the seven main political parties are led by one.
So what does the future of Iceland look like when there’s a gender-inclusive government leading the way? We’ll ask a group of Iceland’s female politicians.

On this episode of The Stream, we’ll speak to:

Sunna Aevarsdóttir @sunnago
Member of Parliament, Pirate Party

Arna Sigurbjörnsdóttir @aslaugarna
Member of Parliament, Independence Party

Jóna Sólveig Elínardóttir @JonaSolveig
Member of Parliament, Regeneration Party

Lilja Alfreðsdóttir @liljaalfreds
Minister of Foreign Affairs

What do you think? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.