Equal Pay? Iceland Made It…


March of 2017 will be one of those moments in history we will happily remember. The month of March 2017 brings the victory to a handful of women. The Icelandic politicians approved the law that gives an important right and benefit to women:

Beginning today, Icelandic political leaders will start working on the plan that will guarantee the benefit of the Equal Pay to the employed women of the country.

The Equal Pay for men and women is not a utopia anymore, at least not for Iceland.

It all gained traction again, on a chilly afternoon in October 2016, a handful of women led by Frida Ros Valdimarsdottir (a former home-care worker) –armed with signs, kindness, and hope – walked into the main square of Reykjavik claiming their rights to be respected. In fact, they asked that the 50-year old law which guarantees the Equal Pay.

The Parliament of Iceland, which is half women and half men, on Tuesday March 27, 2017, became the first to introduce a legislation, which requires employers to prove they are paying men and women equally.

Many companies in Iceland already adopted voluntary the equal pay standard. Now that employers will have to prove to the authorities that they’re offering equal pay, the women can finally sing victory.

“We want to break down the last of the gender barriers in the workplace. History has shown that if you want progress, you need to enforce it.”

This is what Thorstein Viglundsson, the Iceland’s Social Affairs and Equality Minister, said.

According to Mr. Viglundsson’s words and what the law states, women will not only be the beneficiary of an equal pay, they will also have open doors to every level of a position within a company. In fact, employers must assess every job, from cleaner to senior executive, to identify and fix wage gaps of more than 5 percent.

The new rules would require the larger companies and government agencies to undergo audits, starting in 2018, and to obtain a certification of compliance with equal pay rules. Businesses with over 25 employees must comply by 2022.

Looking positively towards the future, the legislation will not fix only the gender pay gap issue, but will fight to provide the same work benefits to men and women.

Hopefully many other countries will see clearly into the future and will finally understand the importance of breaking down the walls of ignorance and view Iceland as an example to follow. After the publication of this news, the world hopes for a positive domino effect that will make all women feel appreciated by a men-dominant world.



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