Johanna Sigurdardottir, the prime minister of Iceland, has announced her retirement from politics last Friday.
The 70-year-old became Iceland's first female Prime Minister and the world's first openly lesbian head of government on 1 February 2009. She is the country's longest-serving member of Parliament since becoming an MP in 1978. She was also the Minister of Social Affairs and Social Security from 1987–1994 and 2007–2009.
In September 2012, Johanna announced she would not seek re-election and would instead retire from politics.
Following the elections on Saturday, her Social Democratic Alliance and the Left Green Movement, which won an emergency election in 2009, were defeated by the rightwing Independence Party and the centrist-agrarian Progressive Party.
The photo shows Johanna Sigurdardottir (red jacket) and her wife
Jonina Leosdottir who was not captioned by Xinhua,
China's state news agency.
Sigurdardottir's official visit in China with her wife Jonina Leosdottir earlier this month was highly anticipated by media observers watching to see how China's state media would handle the coverage of the couple's visit. In recent years, an increasing number of same-sex couples in China have publicised their wedding ceremonies although it is not officially recognised.
The PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) association in China, who is campaigning for the legal recognition of same-sex marriage, invited the couple to a meeting via a published letter last month. It is not known if the couple accepted.
During her administration, Iceland became the ninth country to legalise same-sex marriage in 2010 after a marriage equality bill was passed with no political resistance. Sigurdardottir and her wife, who have been civil partners since 2002, married when the law came into force.
The only openly gay head of government is Belgium's Elio Di Rupo, who became the world's first openly gay male government leader when he was sworn in 2011.