Gender-Based Violence in Alþingi

Vala Hafstað

About 80 percent of women in Alþingi, the Icelandic parliament, suffer gender-based violence, reports. This is among the results of a new study, done among women who work in or recently quit working in Alþingi. The result is detailed in a book by Haukur Arnþórsson, PhD, published today.

A questionnaire was sent to 33 women in May, and the response rate was 76 percent. Of those who responded, 80 percent reported having suffered psychological violence; 28 percent had suffered sexual violence; 24 percent reported having suffered physical violence, and 20.8 percent stated they had suffered economic violence.

Examples of economic violence is being denied pay or working facilities one has a right to, or when one’s property is damaged.

When compared with the results of a comprehensive study on violence against women in parliament in Europe, published by the Inter-Parliamentary Union in 2018, the rate of violence against women in Alþingi turns out to be higher than in other European parliaments.

The main difference lies in the rate of physical and economic violence, which is 14.8 and 13.5 percent, respectively, elsewhere in Europe, compared with 24 and 20.8 percent, respectively, among Icelandic women in parliament.


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