20% of all government appointed committees in Iceland are exclusively male, reported news station NFS yesterday. Since November 2004, Icelandic ministers have appointed 1,590 individuals to 250 committees, which means that on average about 100 individuals are appointed per month.
Every fifth committee, or 47 out of 250, are exclusively male. Six committees have only female members.
An MP for the Social Democrats, Katrín Júlíusdóttir, said she found these figures very disappointing especially in light of Althingi having agreed to a ministerial affirmative action plan which mandates that there should be an equal number of males and females in government appointed committees. She said the responsibility must lie with the ministers to obey the affirmative action plan.
There is a large discrepancy between ministries regarding gender appointments. This winter, the Prime Minister’s office appointed a 10 person all male committee to review disability benefits. At the Ministry of Agriculture, men are in the majority of the committees, or 88% of appointees are male. The Ministry of Social Services is the only ministry that has appointed a majority of females to its committees, or 55%.