Gender pay gap: Iceland make history following new legislation

Construction workers at the site of the Aurora Observatory in Karholl northern Iceland

Iceland Legalizes Equal Pay Marking Big Step Toward Ending Gender Pay Gap

Updated | Iceland has become the first country in the world to make it illegal for women to get paid less than men.

Iceland is the first country to take the fight against the gender pay gap a step further, requiring companies to proactively get equal pay certification from the government.

Any companies or government agencies which can not demonstrate equal pay between staff will risk fines.

Some members of Parliament from the centre-right Independence Party had voiced opposition to the new legislation, but abstained when it came to the final vote.

According to the Global Gender Gap Report, which uses markers such as economic opportunity, political empowerment, and health to measure gender equality in the country, Iceland has been one of the fastest-improving countries in the world over a ten year period.

However, Iceland's wage gap does persist, and it has yet to be seen how businesses will take to the new legislation.

"History has shown that if you want progress, you need to enforce it". "At this time, that seems highly unlikely", she continued.

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Iceland's new law applies to companies with 25 employees or more.

For comparison, 80% of top nominations in the Trump administration have been male. Salary data at non-government organizations are collected through voluntary submissions or nonprofit surveys. This will ensure that companies will pay men and women the same amount for the same job, according to Al Jazeera. The gap exists across all occupational groups.

The five best performers in the global gender gap are Iceland, Norway, Finland, Rwanda and Sweden while Yemen is ranked as the lowest of the 144 countries.

The culmination of all this is that for the past nine years Iceland has been ranked by the World Economic Forum as the world's most gender-equal country. However, the process of narrowing the pay gap in the USA has been slow.

Iceland is now Number 1 when it comes to the gender wage gap.

Women's rights advocates say the legislation already in place wasn't enough. What's worse, Black women will have to wait 2124, and Hispanic women will wait until 2233, to be paid equally.

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