She was born in 1976 and graduated from the University of Iceland in 1999 with a bachelor's degree in Icelandic and minor in French. She received her M.A. in Icelandic Literature from the same university in 2004 for a dissertation on the work of popular Icelandic crime writer Arnaldur Indriðason.
She became deputy Chairperson of the Left-Green Movement in 2003 and has been the Chairwoman of the party since 2013. Jakobsdóttir has been a Member of Parliament since 2007, serving as the Minister of Education, Science and Culture from 2009 to 2013, as well as the Minister for Nordic Cooperation from 2009 to 2013.
For more information, visit Prime Minister Jakobsdóttir's webpage
On September 25, 2019 at the 74th UN General Assembly, UN Women and the Council of Women World Leaders launched the campaign Generation Equality: Realizing women’s rights for an equal future to accelerate gender equality and mark the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. The campaign demands, “equal pay, equal sharing of unpaid care and domestic work, end to sexual harassment and all forms of violence against women and girls, health-care services that respond to their needs, and their equal participation in political life and decision-making in all areas of life.” Accordingly, UN Women and the Council of Women World Leaders launched the “Champions for Generation Equality” Initiative in which Prime Minister Jakobsdóttir was named a leader in this initiative.
At the meeting, Prime Minister Jakobsdóttir spoke in tandem with President of Estonia Kersti Kaljulaid; UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka; UN Women Senior Advisor on women's leadership Birna Kristjánsdóttir; and President of Croatia Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović. Together, they advocated for and represented the changes that need to be made in leadership. “When we talk about representation in leadership, it’s very important to remember that imparity in leadership is a testament to our failures to ensure equal opportunities to women and men and people of all genders,” said Prime Minister of Iceland Katrín Jakobsdóttir. “Similarly, if our democratic institutions are not reflective of the nature of our societies, we are failing to ensure equal opportunities at large.”
On November 20, 2019, Prime Minister Jakobsdóttir spoke at The Power Together: Reykjavik Summit 2019 held in cooperation with the Council of Women World Leaders and the University of Iceland. The event featured a round-table of women who have reached the highest echelons of leadership in their countries: Presidents, Prime Ministers and Special Guests addressed the most complex challenges facing the world.
On November 27, 2018, Prime Minister Jakobsdóttir convened a high-level roundtable in the historic Höfði House, calling for peaceful solutions to armed conflict and the protection of universal human rights. The meeting was held in relation to the first-ever Women Leaders Global Forum, co-hosted by the Icelandic Government, the Parliament of Iceland and Women Political Leaders, with participation of the Council of Women World Leaders. Co-hosted by the Icelandic Government, the Parliament of Iceland, and Women of Political Leaders, the roundtable was held in relation to the first-ever Women Leaders Global Forum with participation of the Council of Women World Leaders. Prime Minister Jakobsdóttir stated, “We discussed the conditions for peaceful societies and the means to achieve such normative aims. This includes education, healthcare and welfare, factors that are our best tools to combat the rise of religious fundamentalism, extreme nationalist ideologies, and the radical right. It is also widely established that the inclusion of women in peace processes increases the likelihood of lasting peace.”