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Women with their faces painted with the flag of Iceland. (GEOFFROY VAN DER HASSELT/AFP/Getty Images)


Iceland becomes 1st country in the world to legally enforce equal pay

By WITW Staff on January 3, 2018

Iceland rang in 2018 with groundbreaking legislation that has made it illegal to pay men more than women for performing the same job.

As Al Jazeera reports, Icelandic companies and government agencies that employ more than 25 people will now have to obtain certification that confirms they pay male and female employees equally. With its new legislation, Iceland has become the first country in the world to legally enforce equal pay.

“I think that now people are starting to realize that this is a systematic problem that we have to tackle with new methods,” Dagny Osk Aradottir Pind, a board member of the Icelandic Women’s Rights Association, told Al Jazeera. The wage gap issue has been simmering in Iceland for quite some time. One day in late October of 2016, women in Iceland protested the country’s 14 percent pay gap by leaving work 14 percent early.

Iceland is certainly on track to close the wage gap by 2022, as its government has promised to do. For the past nine years, the country has ranked first in the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap report, which evaluates countries based on factors like economic opportunities for women, political empowerment and health and survival. Since the World Economic Forum began issuing its report in 2006, Iceland has closed its gender wage gap by 10 percent—a marked and relatively speedy improvement.

Read the full story at Al Jazeera.


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