Polish woman runs for Reykjavík primary Skip to content

Polish woman runs for Reykjavík primary

By Iceland Review

Grazyna Maria Okuniewska recently announced her candidacy for Reykjavík’s city council, hoping to improve immigrant rights.

Okuniewska, who is a Polish immigrant, told Morgunbladid that she has watched the number of immigrants to Iceland rise in recent years and wants to be their representative.

Elections will take place in Reykjavík on 27 and 28 October. Okuniewska is running for the right-wing Independence Party’s ninth seat in the city council. Her platform includes immigrant rights, education and health issues.

Okuniewska told Morgunbaldid that she feels immigrants should be offered better Icelandic courses and be taught how to function in the Icelandic community.

She said she would also like to see school children learn more about the different cultures that co-exist in Iceland.

Grazyna Maria Okuniewska moved from Gdansk in Poland to the Icelandic West Fjords 15 years ago.

At the beginning of her stay in Iceland, Okuniewska worked in a fish factory in a small village in the West Fjords.

After three years she started working as a nurse, which is what she is educated as and what she worked as back in Poland. Okuniewska moved to the capital in 2002.

She is now studying nursing at a postgraduate level at the University of Iceland (HÍ) and is a board member of the Society of Foreign Women in Iceland. Earlier, Okuniewska worked as a translator for the Intercultural Center in Reykjavík.

Okuniewska told Morgunbladid that language is the key to the Icelandic community. Icelanders are open and most of them speak English, but she says it is important for immigrants to learn Icelandic to be fully functional as citizens.

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