Iceland celebrates double victory for its female leaders

This week, Iceland’s Prime Minister Johanna Sigurdardottir made history by marrying her partner Jonina Leosdottir to make her not only the world’s first openly gay leader, but also the first gay leader to get married. This week also marks 30 years since Iceland elected the world’s first female president.

Iceland’s brand new marriage equality laws came into effect on Sunday and the Prime Minister and her long-time registered civil partner straight away took the opportunity to upgrade their contract to full marriage, which is allowed under the new law. The legal contract change does not require a new marriage ceremony, as registered partnerships were already very similar to marriage, legally speaking.

Thirty years ago, Iceland took another world-changing step when Vigdis Finnbogadottir became the world’s first democratically elected head of state. Vigdis remained president for 16 years until 1996. 16 years (four terms) is the longest presidency possible in Iceland and Finnbogadottir remains an extremely popular and in-demand public figure to this day.

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