REYKJAVIK, Iceland — More than 400 female political leaders from around the world met in Iceland on Wednesday for an annual summit aimed at promoting gender equality inside and outside of the political sphere.

The summit sponsored by the Women Political Leaders Global Forum comes amid the sexual misconduct scandal that has rocked the world of politics, as well as the entertainment and media industries.

In Iceland, often regarded as a champion of gender equality, hundreds of women in politics have signed a pledge against sexual harassment.

Former Iceland President Vigdis Finnbogadottir, the world’s first elected female president, said the accounts given in recent weeks will improve the environment for women in politics.

“This will change the attitude of both women and men,” she said Monday. “Women will be more confident discussing with men, and men more careful.”

Finnbogadottir became the world’s first elected female president in 1980 after she defeated three male candidates. Women currently account for 7 percent of world heads of state.

Former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark, who until recently led the United Nations Development Program, said work-related sexual misconduct contributes to a lack of women in leadership positions.

“That kind of behavior, which is now deemed widely unacceptable, has been one of the barriers to women getting ahead,” Clark said. “Lots of sectors – parliaments, film industries and others – are having to face their past and say, ‘We are going to do it better.’ “

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