In a progressive movie, Iceland has legalised equal pay in the country. The new law that came into being from January 1 makes it illegal to decide payscale based on gender. After the legislation was passed on International Women’s Day last year, the law came into effect this year. According to its rules, companies and government agencies with at least 25 people must have government certification of their equal-pay choices, failing to which will be fined. The law makes paying men more than women illegal and plans to eradicate gender pay gap by 2022. For the last nine years, Iceland remains as the top country on The World Economic Forum (WEF) for gender equality and topics such as economics, education, health, and politics. Iceland women make up 48 percent of their parliament without a reservation system.
Protesting against gender pay gap, thousands of women left work two hours early and headed to Austurvollur square in the Icelandic capital of Reykjavik. They reduced their typical 9-to-5 workday precisely by two hours and 22 minutes, or around 30 percent. Thirty percent is the gap in average annual income for men and women in Iceland. In the country for every dollar a man makes, women make 72 cents. Those assembled at Austurvollur shouted Ut, or ‘Out,’ to discrimination against women.
According to the WEF reports, Iceland has made a great progress in eradicating inequality and reduced around 10 percent of its total gender gap. According to the latest WEF report, Iceland, Norway, Finland, Rwanda and Sweden are the top five best performers in the global gender gap. Dagny Osk Aradottir Pind, a board member of the Icelandic Women’s Rights Association was quoted as saying, “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.”