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.
On the first day of 2018, #Iceland became the first country in the world to legalize equal pay between men and women. A new law makes it illegal to pay men more than women for the same job. https://t.co/wwYnhezqFi.— ¯_(?)_/¯ (@karishmau) January 3, 2018
Well done, Iceland pic.twitter.com/uynz90EOjw
Iceland is an example to follow that's for sure, Nordic countries are awesome ??#iceland #MeToo #balancetonporc #women #femmes #EgaliteFH@MarleneSchiappa L'Islande est inspirante vous ne trouvez pas ? ?? https://t.co/LuRL4NSPmD— Ezereal ?????? (@So_Ethereal) January 3, 2018
Thank you #Iceland for being the first country IN THE WORLD IN 2018 to introduce equal pay for men and women undertaking the same work. One are closer to closing the gap ??????— Niamh O'Donoghue (@Niamh_Cupl) January 2, 2018
Let's talk about the #paygap, not the #thighgap. #Equalpay is one of the crucial issues for 2018. Thank you #Iceland for taking the lead, and declaring it illegal to pay men more than women for the same work #letsgo— Marieke Eyskoot (@MariekeEyskoot) January 3, 2018
Image from my book #ditiseengoedegids, photo by @AurelieChadaine pic.twitter.com/u5fGY4EPS2
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.