Iceland Now First To Require Equal Pay for Men and Women

Iceland's PM Katrin Jakobsdottir

AFP 2017 Olivier MorinIceland's New Female Prime Minister Offers Hope and Crime Thriller Expertise

Iceland has become the first country to make it illegal for men to earn more than women at work.

Iceland has had the world's smallest gender wage gap in the world for nine years in a row, as determined by the World Economic Forum, and the Icelandic government is working to eliminate gender pay inequality by 2022. Those failing to comply or meet with standards will be fined.

Dagny Osk Aradottir Pind, a board member of the Icelandic Women's Rights Association, explained that even though Iceland has had equal pay on the books forever, this new legislation "is basically a mechanism that [obligates] companies and organizations ..."

In October, thousands of Icelandic women left work at 2:38 p.m., and demonstrated outside parliament to protest the gender pay gap.

"It's a mechanism to ensure women and men are being paid equally". Those who can not prove it will be forced to pay fines. On paper, the USA doesn't seem that far behind the world's most gender-equal country.

Equal rights researchers said they hoped Iceland's legislation would encourage others to follow suit in tackling the gender pay gap while also highlighting the need to address the lack of women politicians globally.

"Iceland is ranked as world's most gender equal country by (the World Economic Forum)". At present, almost half of Iceland's parliamentarians are female lawmakers.

In August 2017 the Trump Administration's Office of Management and Budget suspended an Obama-era form that required companies with more than 100 employees to collect pay data by sex, race, and ethnicity.

Following last year's national election, Iceland became the "most equal parliament in the world" after female candidates won 48 per cent of the country's 63 seats - without any quota system in place.

Companies will now face fines if it is found that men are being paid more than women doing the same job.

Icelandic government plans to eradicate pay discrimination by 2020.

It makes sense that Iceland is the first nation to take this step to closing its pay gap.

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