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Fragments from women's history in Iceland

Stepping stones:

1850 Equal inheritance rights for men and women

1882 Widows and single women gain local suffrage

1886 Girls can enter secondary school

1900 Married women gain the right to control their income and personal property

1907 Icelandic Women’s Rights Association founded

1908 Women gain local suffrage and the right to hold local office

1908 The first women’s list participates in local elections in Reykjavik

1911 Women get equal rights to grants, study and civil service

1914 First women workers’ association founded

1915 Women over the age of 40 gain national suffrage and the right to hold office

1920 All women gain national suffrage and the right to hold office

1921 New marital law guarantees equality for spouses

1922 The first woman elected to the Icelandic Parliament

1926 The first Icelandic woman defends a doctoral thesis

1957 The first female mayor in an Icelandic municipality

1961 Equal Pay Act approved by parliament

1970 First female Cabinet Minister

1975 Women nationwide take a day off on October 24th

1976 The first Gender Equality Act and the Gender Equality Council is appointed

1980 The first nationally elected female president in the world

1982 The Women’s Alliance runs for the first time in local elections

1983 The Women’s Alliance runs in parliamentary elections for the first time

1995 Equal rights of women and men stated in the constitution

1997 Fathers get an independent right to two weeks paid parental leave

2000 Fathers get an independent right to three months of paid parental leave

2009 The first female prime minister in Iceland

2009 The first government with equal number of men and women

2009 Legislation banning the purchasing of prostitution is approved by parliament

2010 A full ban on strip clubs approved by parliament

2010 A law on gender quota on company boards

2010 A single marriage act is approved

2011 Legislation permits removal of perpetrator of domestic violence from domicile

2011 A law on gender quota on boards of Pension Funds

2012 First female bishop in Iceland

2015 The 100 anniversary of women’s suffrage in Iceland / 100 anniversary of women’s civil rights in Iceland

More on women's history in Iceland:

More on Gender Equality in Iceland:


*Last edited on 24 March 2017