Culture

Iceland’s Solution To The Gender Pay Gap Is Brilliant… And Obvious

Why haven't we done this?

Iceland has just become the first country on Earth to make it illegal to pay men more than women. Which raises the question… what exactly is stopping the rest of the planet?

Under new laws that came into effect on January 1, companies and government agencies in Iceland that employ at least 25 people will be required to show that they pay men and women equally for the same work. If they fail to do so, they’ll be whacked with a fine.

“I think that now people are starting to realise that this is a systematic problem that we have to tackle with new methods,” Dagny Osk Aradottir Pind, a board member of the Icelandic Women’s Rights Association, told Al Jazeera.

“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.”

For the past nine years, Iceland has been ranked by the World Economic Forum as the world’s most gender-equal nation. Despite this, the gender pay gap has remained an ongoing concern.

The new legislation, which was supported by both the government and the opposition in a parliament made up of almost 50 percent women (probably not a coincidence), is designed to help the country close the gender pay gap completely by the year 2020.

Feature image via Seth Sharp/Twitter