NewsMavens
Newsmavens is a media start-up within Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland's largest liberal broadsheet published by Agora S.A. Newsmavens is currently financed by Gazeta Wyborcza and Google DNI Fund. Gazeta Wyborcza, Agora SA Czerska 8/10
00-732, Warsaw
Poland
Core team_
Zuzanna Ziomecka
Zuzanna Ziomecka EDITOR IN CHIEF
Lea Berriault-Jauvin
Lea Berriault Managing Editor
Reykjavík by night. In the background the nautical college. Author: Christian Bickel Wikicommons
this story is part of the 1-5 Jan 2018 Weekly Hindsight Read the hindsight

Iceland passes law forcing companies to pay women equally

Editorial Team recommended by Editorial Team NewsMavens, Europe

Iceland tops gender equality metrics across the board and now it has made the gender pay gap illegal. Could global gender equality be as simple as following its lead? 

Europe Aha moments

Why this story matters:

XX newseconomy,work,human rights

On Jan 1, a new law made it bad business and bad politics to discriminate against working women in Iceland. Companies now must pay a fine if they pay women less than men for doing the same job. Already a leader in most gender equality metrics, Iceland is on track to be the first country in the world to completely eradicate the gender pay gap by 2020.

This news makes it clear that the only thing standing in the way of equal pay is equality everywhere else first.

Iceland sets an example of chronological action that makes progress toward equal pay basically automatic. First, Iceland made sure men were empowered to share the job of raising their kids, which freed up women to work. What followed was a balanced political representation (50/50) and a female president for 20 out of the last 50 years.

If the scene was not so favorably set, the equal pay law may not have passed. But with women representing half of the workforce, half the government and half the population, there was just no stopping it.

That made a compelling recipe for success: reproductive rights and parenting partnerships to ensure that women have equal opportunities to work, then balance the scales in politics. After that, the pay gap practically closed itself. Rinse and repeat in the next country.

Take-away's from Leah Fessler's article

  • For the past nine years, Iceland has been ranked by the World Economic Forum (WEF) as the world’s most gender-equal country,
  • In 2016, Iceland had closed 87% of their gender pay gap. For comparison, in the US the gender pay gap is about 20% on average, though the gap is significantly higher for women of color.
  • According to Saadia Zahidi, head of the WEF’s gender equality campaign, the factor that most contributes to Iceland thinning gender wage gap is women’s economic participation.

ALSO IN THE WEEKLY HINDSIGHT 1-5 Jan 2018
weekly hindsight12-16 Feb 2018

It’s not enough to have women in power

read on
STORIES FROM ACROSS EUROPE SENT STRAIGHT TO YOUR INBOX
WITH FINANCIAL SUPPORT FROM:
SUPPORTED BY:
Google DNI Women in news World Editors Forum
STRATEGIC PARTNERS: