REYKJAVIK, Iceland - Starting out 2018 with the ambitious agenda to close the gender wage gap by 2020 - Iceland has now made it illegal for companies to pay men more than women for the same work.
The country announced the new legislation, under which any company, including Icelandic government agencies, that employ 25 people or more would have to prove to the government that they pay their women workers as much as their men workers.
The new law came into effect this week and officials pointed out that if a company can’t justify their salary compensation for employees, they will get fined.
Dagny Osk Aradottir Pind, from the Icelandic Women’s Rights Association, said that the legislation is a way of tackling the old problem with a new method.
She explained, “Women have been talking about this for decades and I really feel that we have managed to raise awareness, and we have managed to get to the point that people realise that the legislation we have had in place is not working, and we need to do something more.”
Since 2006, when a global study - the Global Gender Gap Report drew attention to the issue, Iceland has improved its gender pay gap by 10 percent.
The country became the first country to execute such a legislation that was first announced in March 2017 on International Women’s Day.
Currently, Iceland’s Parliament consists of nearly 50 percent female members.
The World Economic Forum (WEF) ranked the nation as the world’s most gender-equal country for the last nine years, acting as “a leader on female political empowerment and a strong performer on wage equality.”