Iceland Makes It Illegal To Pay Men More Than Women

Iceland becomes the first country in the world to make it legally mandatory to pay men and women equally for doing the same job.


Equal pay to both men and women is the law of the land in Iceland as of Jan. 1, 2018. The Nordic Island country is the first one in the world to make it a legal requirement to pay men and women equally for the same job.

If businesses with more than 24 employees do not obtain government's certificate of equal pay policy, they will be charged with a fine for not regulating pay parity.

It is not the first time Iceland has done something for gender equality. The country has been ranked as the world's most gender equal country by The World Economic Forum for past nine years. Nearly 50 percent of Iceland's parliament constitutes of women.

However, in March 2017, when the law of equal pay was proposed, it faced resistance from businesses who said there was too bureaucracy involved.

At the time, Equality and Social Affairs Minister Thorsteinn Viglundsson responded, "We need to make sure that men and women enjoy equal opportunity in the workplace. It is our responsibility to take every measure to achieve that."

A lot of people on Twitter are in support of the move by Iceland.











Thousands of women left work early in October 2016 to gather outside parliament to protest against gender pay gap.


"The legislation is basically a mechanism that companies and organizations ... evaluate every job that's being done, and then they get a certification after they confirm the process if they are paying men and women equally. It's a mechanism to ensure women and men are being paid equally. We have had legislation saying that pay should be equal for men and women for decades now but we still have a pay gap", said Dagny Osk Aradottir Pind, a board member of the Icelandic Women's Rights Association, to Al Jazeera.

The government of Iceland plans and aims to completely eradicate gender wage gap by 2022.

Thumbnail/Banner: Reuters

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