Iceland Implements Legislation Making It Unlawful to Pay Men More Than Women

Construction workers at the site of the Aurora Observatory in Karholl northern Iceland

Per the new law, businesses with 25 or more people will need to obtain paperwork from the government certifying their equal-pay policies, and will be potentially fined if they don't comply.

But activists say that men on average still make more than women in Iceland, despite laws on the books demanding equal pay, according to Al Jazeera. That is not exactly what happened.

"The new law by Iceland can help change attitudes to women in business as well as in politics, and inspire other countries to do the same", said Virginie Le Masson, a research fellow at the London-based Overseas Development Institute.

Senator Bernie Sanders praised Iceland for establishing equal pay Tuesday, demanding that the U.S.do the same. It does not rely on an employee to prove she was discriminated against. And as of January 1st, Iceland's government is now legally enforcing pay equality.

The government has committed to closing the gender pay gap by 2022.

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According to the Global Gender Gap Report, which attempts to gauge nations' gender equality, Iceland closed about 10 percent of its total gender gap since 2006. Women in minority groups face a wider pay gap.

In August 2017 the Trump Administration's Office of Management and Budget suspended an Obama-era form that required companies with more than 100 employees to collect pay data by sex, race, and ethnicity. If they aren't certified, a daily fine will stack up. The idea is that this will eliminate salary discrimination. Icelandic women had refused to carry out domestic work and childcare to prove that society would be paralysed without women's labour.

Iceland already uses the Equal Pay Standard, a set of rules and regulations which companies use to measure the gender pay gap within their establishments.

The focus of the law is specifically on gender equity. At present, almost half of Iceland's parliamentarians are female lawmakers.

It found that Iceland has nearly closed its gender gap in these areas - 87 per cent of the Icelandic gender gap has already been closed.

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