The University of Iceland Centre for Disability Studies has refused to work with the Parliamentary Welfare Committee as long as Centre Party MP Anna Kolbrún Árnadóttir holds a seat on it, RÚV reports. Anna Kolbrún is one of six MPs caught on tape in a bar-room conversation rife with sexist, ableist, and homophobic remarks which has led to protest, international media attention, and an internal investigation.
“The profound prejudices, misanthropy, arrogance, and disrespect towards disabled people and other marginalised groups which comes forth [in the Klaustur recording] is such that we will not take part in collaboration with the Parliamentary Welfare Committee while Anna Kolbrún Árnadóttir holds a seat on the committee,” states a letter from the Centre for Disability Studies sent to Speaker of Parliament Steingrímur J. Sigfússon.
Steingrímur says the action is unprecedented, but parliament can do little else than respect the decision. “We need to review on our end what problems this creates in the parliamentary committee’s ongoing work,” he stated. Halldóra Mogensen, the Welfare Committee’s chair, said the Centre for Disability Studies’ decision has a “very serious” effect on the committee’s work. Anna Kolbrún declined RÚV’s request for an interview, but stated she would not resign from the committee.
Bára Halldórsdóttir is the individual responsible for recording the MPs’ conversation at Klaustur Bar. “I’m a disabled woman, I am queer, and I’m used to being talked about in this way, though maybe not with that choice of words exactly, and of course you take it personally,” Bára stated. “They’re obviously afraid of these strong women.”