(1942 – )
Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir became the first female prime minister of Iceland and the first openly lesbian head of state in 2009. She has served in the Icelandic legislature as a Social Democrat since 1978.
She also did much early work as a union activist, a traditional path for many left wing politicians. In 2010, her government banned strip clubs and payment for nudity in restaurants in a move that invoked a recurring debate among feminists about cash for sex. With the legalization of same sex marriage in Iceland in 2010, she married her long-time partner. In an 2010 interview with the New Statesman, she observed that “My long experience in politics tells me that egalitarian policies are the best way to unite and empower people, and are also a necessary counterweight to he sometimes dividing and detrimental influence of market forces.”
McDonald, Alyssa. 2010. “Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir—Extended Interview.” New Statesman. Jan. 15. http://www.newstatesman.com/international-politics/2010/01/iceland-interview-economy