Iceland, on January 1, enforced a law ensuring that companies operating within the nordic country pay their male and female employees equally. The new rules make Iceland the first country in the world to introduce such a legislation, Al Jazeera reported.
The bill was tabled in the Icelandic Parliament in April 2017. The new law will make it mandatory for private and public companies with 25 or more employees to prove that their salary structure is not biased by gender. Erring companies will be fined.
The law was praised by United States Senator Bernie Sanders.
The bill was supported by the centre-right coalition government as well as the Opposition. Authorities estimate that Icelandic women get paid 7% less than their male counterparts. The country topped the World Economic Forum’s 2015 Global Gender Gap Index.
In 1975, women in Iceland refused to work, cook, do household chores or look after family on October 27 in protest against inequality in respect and pay. It brought the country to a near-collapse. They called it the “Women’s Day Off”.