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Vigdís Finnbogadóttir Quotes


Vigdís Finnbogadóttir
  • Mini Bio
  • Name: Vigdís Finnbogadóttir
  • Born: 15th April 1930, Reykjavík, Iceland
  • Alma mater: University of Paris, University of Grenoble, University of Copenhagen and University of Iceland
  • Occupation: Academic and 4th President of Iceland
  • Famous for: Being the first democratically elected female president
  • In Presidential office: 1st August 1980 – 1st August 1996
  • Positions since retirement: UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for languages and member of the Club of Madrid for former presidents and prime ministers
  • Trivia: Served as the fourth and the only female President (to date) of Iceland from 1st August 1980 to 1st August 1996
  • Scroll down for full bio and many great quotes

"It’s not enough for a woman to be intelligent. Intelligence has to have a modern coiffure"

Vigdís Finnbogadóttir

"The Vikings ancestors arrived in America before Christopher Columbus, but they are gone now. Fortunately for everyone, otherwise the whole world would speak Icelandic, which is a very complicated and very difficult language"

Vigdís Finnbogadóttir

"Everyday life in Iceland differs in a number of important respects from that in most other countries of Europe, because of our close relationship with the forces of nature and above all because of our reliance on the sea"

Vigdís Finnbogadóttir

"In the sagas, written in the ancient Viking language which has hardly changed up to the present day, we can read incredibly detailed histories of the kings and other major figures in Norway and much farther afield in Europe"

Vigdís Finnbogadóttir

"Iceland has been fortunate to guarantee a very high standard of living for its citizens on an individual basis, even though the national economy carries little weight in the world"

Vigdís Finnbogadóttir

"We listened to the children play while the announcers read the news on the radio. It was good to hear them, because we knew that men had to be in charge that day"

Vigdís Finnbogadóttir

"What happened that day established the first step for the emancipation of women in Iceland. Paralysed the country completely and opened the eyes of many men"

Vigdís Finnbogadóttir

"For us Icelanders, the Council of Europe has a similar place in the world order to the distinguished mythological god Heimdall in the ancient pantheon of our forefathers"

Vigdís Finnbogadóttir

"The Althing, the unique republican parliament set up by the first Icelanders in AD 930, which happens to be the oldest extant national assembly in the world"

Vigdís Finnbogadóttir

"We are all, as citizens of the world, duty bound to contribute to our utmost ability to the continuing progress of the spirit of humanity"

Vigdís Finnbogadóttir

"Never try to be a man if you’re a woman"

Vigdís Finnbogadóttir

"I’m not a man and I never have been and my principle has always been not to try to act like a man"

Vigdís Finnbogadóttir

"Below the level of being Europeans, we are distinct nations, and below that, we are individuals"

Vigdís Finnbogadóttir

"I think, if the world can be saved, it will be by women"

Vigdís Finnbogadóttir

"On that day, society in a way shut down and it proved that women are - like men - pillars of society"

Vigdís Finnbogadóttir

"All nations have a self-image that is woven from many different threads"

Vigdís Finnbogadóttir

"I had the feeling I looked like a snowball rolling down the stairs from the plane"

Vigdís Finnbogadóttir

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Vigdís Finnbogadóttir Biography

Vigdís Finnbogadóttir led a largely academic life that was interspersed with involvement in rallies against Nato's presence on Iceland and being involved in the Icelandic womens movement.



It was from the womens rights movement that it was first mooted that she run for president and after entering the 1980 presidential race she became the worlds first democratically elected female president.

Such was her popularity she remained president for a further two terms before deciding to step down in 1996. To this date she is still the only elected female president of Iceland.

In a proud country with an ancient history of introducing new and vibrant changes Finnbogadóttir has stood out, not just in Iceland but all around the world, as an female role model that sets a positive standard to be aspired to. As a world eader she was good for a one liner also, so this is my compilation of 17 of the best Vigdís Finnbogadóttir quotes.

Quotes About Vigdís Finnbogadóttir

The then British Prime Minster Margaret Thatcher, in a welcoming speech during a state visit, looked back and admired Icelandic historical firsts: "Iceland has always been a pioneer of democracy. Your Parliament, the Althing, had been sitting for centuries before our own mother of Parliaments first met. Women in Iceland gained the vote some ten years before women here. Our two countries are linked by history, trade, tourism and political ideals"

The president of Iceland Guðni Th. Jóhannesson said in a speech opening an international learning centre named after Vigdís Finnbogadóttir: "In her younger days, Vigdís herself earned a good reputation as a teacher of French and also channelled her energies into the theatre, bringing in influences from abroad and weaving them into Iceland’s cultural tapestry"

Vigdís Finnbogadóttir image quote