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Parliament | © Guilhem Vellut/Flickr
Parliament | © Guilhem Vellut/Flickr

This Country Has Just Legalised Equal Pay

Picture of Camille Buckley
Updated: 8 January 2018

Iceland has become the first country in the world to legalise equal pay between men and women. The new law took effect on the first day of 2018 adding to an already impressive list of reasons why Iceland is one of the best places to be a woman.

The new law makes it illegal for companies and government agencies, which employ at least 25 workers, to operate without a certification proving their equal-pay policies. The law ensures that woman and men are paid equally with those who do not comply being forced to pay a fine.

Iceland, a small island nation in the North Atlantic with a population of 330,000, also had the first democratically elected female president in 1980 and the first openly gay prime minister in 2009.

Iceland’s new centre-right government, spearheaded by the newly elected prime minister Katrín Jacóbsdóttir, a noted feminist and environmental activist, proposed the new legislation which was also supported by the opposing party members. The parliament, which is nearly equal among men and women, plans to completely close the gender wage gap by 2020.