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Breaking Male Dominance in Old Democracies$
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Drude Dahlerup and Monique Leyenaar

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199653898

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199653898.001.0001

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Iceland: Breaking Male Dominance by Extraordinary Means

Iceland: Breaking Male Dominance by Extraordinary Means

(p.124) 6 Iceland: Breaking Male Dominance by Extraordinary Means
Breaking Male Dominance in Old Democracies

Auður Styrkársdóttir

Oxford University Press

In October of 2008, Iceland suffered a major economic crisis that led to the downfall of the three largest banks in the country. A political upheaval followed, with massive demonstrations on the streets in the months of January and February of 2009. The chapter explores the development of women’s representation in Icelandic politics from 1915 to the present. It is argued that the Icelandic political parties were, and in some cases still are, ill-equipped to include a greater number of women in politics. Primary elections, introduced around 1970, created an obstacle for women. The largest party has also been opposed to taking any direct measures to increase women’s representations on the parties’ lists, and this has impacted on women’s overall representation. It took the combined effort of women inside and outside of the political parties, the emergence of special women’s parties and a major economic crisis to break the male dominance in Icelandic politics.

Keywords:   Iceland, Reykjavìk, Women’s Party, Vigdìs Finnbogadóttir, Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, female prime minister

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