According to a new law, it is illegal to pay men more than women, and it has taken effect in Iceland. This legislation, came into force the first day of the New Year. Iceland is the first country in the world, to legalize equal pay between men and women. Under these new rules, companies, as well as government agencies employing at least about 25 people will have to obtain government certification of their equal-pay policies.
The companies who fail to prove pay parity will face fines. Dagny Osk Aradottir Pind, a board member of the Icelandic Women’s Rights Association, said the following:
The legislation is a mechanism where companies and organizations evaluate every kind of job. They will get a certification after they confirm the process to pay men and women in an equal way.
She also told Al Jazeera:
It is a mechanism for ensuring that women and men are being paid equally. We have had legislation, saying that pay should be equal for men and women. But yet, we still have a pay gap.
Iceland, which is an island country in the North Atlantic Ocean is a home to approximately 323,000 people. It also has a strong economy, which is based on tourism and fisheries.
Iceland has been ranked by the World Economic Forum (WEF) as the most gender-equal country in the world.
The Global Gender Gap Report uses some markers like economic opportunity, political empowerment, and health for the state of gender equality in a country. Since the reports started in 2006, Iceland had closed about 10% of its total gender gap, which makes it one of the fastest-improving countries in the world.
The center-right government of Iceland, as well as the opposition, has also supported this new legislation, in a parliament. Nearly 50% of all of the members are women. Aradottir Pind said:
I think that people nowadays are starting to realize that this is a systematic problem which we have to tackle with new methods.
She also added:
Women have also been talking about this for decades, and I feel that we have managed to raise awareness. We have also managed to get to the point where people realize that the legislation that we had in place is not working and we also need to do something more.
Gender inequality worldwide.
The government of Iceland plans to eradicate the wage gap by 2020 completely. Gender inequality worldwide according to the latest report of WEF, the top five best performers in the global gender gap are the following: Iceland, Norway, Finland, Rwanda, and Sweden. On the other hand, Yemen currently is the lowest-ranked of the 144 countries that were measured in the report. This war-torn country has been low-performing concerning economic participation.
52 of the countries fell below the global average in 2017, which include China, Liberia, and the United Arab Emirates. About 60 of them saw their overall gender gap decrease. Hungary was the only country in Europe to be ranked lower than the global average, having some scored poorly on political empowerment.
Source/Inspired: AL JAZEERA NEWS/Image Credit: Shutterstock (Licensed by SelfDevelopShop)