Iceland falls just short of female majority parliament

Iceland briefly celebrated electing a female-majority parliament before a recount produced a result just short of that landmark for gender parity in the North Atlantic island nation.

The initial vote count yesterday had female candidates winning 33 seats in Iceland’s 63-seat parliament, the Althing, in an election that saw centrist parties make the biggest gains.

Hours later, a recount in western Iceland changed the outcome, leaving female candidates with 30 seats, a tally previously reached at Iceland’s second most recent election, in 2016. Still, at almost 48% of the total, that is the highest percentage for women lawmakers in Europe. Only a handful of countries, none of them in Europe, have a majority of female lawmakers.

According to the Inter-Parliamentary Union, Rwanda leads the world with women making up 61 percent of its Chamber of Deputies, with Cuba, Nicaragua and Mexico at or just over the 50 percent mark. Worldwide, the organization says just over a quarter of legislators are women.

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