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More Women Than Men on City Council Committees

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More Women Than Men on City Council Committees

Reykjavík City Hall

Photo: Ian Funk.

There are more women than men on three out of six of the City of Reykjavík’s standing councils. This is not in compliance with gender equality laws, which state that the ratio of men to women must be as equal as possible on all municipal committees and councils, RÚV reports.

Three committees are currently each comprised of five women and two men: Human Rights and Democracy, Environment and Health, and the Welfare Committee. The gender balance on the remaining three standing committees—Sport and Leisure, Planning and Transportation, and Education and Youth—is more even.

Asked about the imbalance, Left Green councilor Líf Magneudóttir explained that the committee membership had been reshuffled after the last election in order to rebalance the gender ratios as much as possible, but that the situation had become more difficult after an increase in the number of councilors and changes made to City Council’s organizational structure.

There is also the fact that women now make up the majority—or 15 out of 23 councilors. In order to fulfill their duties as a councilor, Líf says, they must sit on at least two committees, meaning that there would naturally be a gender imbalance on the committees. The city council needs to address the issue as a whole, however, she says, after the summer recess is over.

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