Iceland Makes History By Becoming First Country To Penalize Gender Pay Gap

The World Economic Forum has ranked it numero uno in gender equality for nine years straight.

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In a historic move, Iceland has criminalized the act of paying women less than men.

According to the reports of Al Jazeera, the new law makes it obligatory to pay both the sexes equally with effect from January 1, 2018.

As per the law, any company which hires more than 25 people should mandatorily acquire government’s certification of demonstration of pay equality. If failed to do so, such companies and firms will be penalized.

The law was announced on March 8, 2017, which also marks the International Women's Day. The step was taken in the wake of eradicating the gender pay gap by the year 2022.

While speaking to Al Jazeera, Dagny Osk Aradottir Pind, of the Icelandic Women's Rights Association, said, "The legislation is basically a mechanism that companies and organisations ... evaluate every job that's being done, and then they get a certification after they confirm the process if they are paying men and women equally."

She further added: "It's a mechanism to ensure women and men are being paid equally.

"We have had legislation saying that pay should be equal for men and women for decades now but we still have a pay gap."

Iceland’s population amounts to approximately 323,000 people. The World Economic Forum has ranked it numero uno for gender equality for nine years straight.

Parameters such as economic opportunity, political empowerment, health and survival are factored in by the Global Gender Gap Report to measure the gender quality prevalent in any country.

Iceland's centre-right coalition government and the opposition too backed the new legislation. About 50% of their parliament comprises of women.  

Ms Aradottir Pind added: "I think that now people are starting to realise that this is a systematic problem that we have to tackle with new methods.

"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."

Information source: businessinsider

Title image source: thefearlessindian

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