Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir became Iceland’s first female Prime Minister and the world’s first openly lesbian head of government on February 1st, 2009. As Iceland’s longest-serving member of Parliament, Sigurðardóttir was also the most popular member. Gaining a reputation as an advocate for social justice, she called for the strengthening of Iceland’s welfare system and helped improve the Icelandic economy after the financial crisis.
Under her leadership, Iceland has become a model for gender equality, celebrating its No. 1 placement on the World Economic Forum’s annual Global Gender Gap Index in 2013.