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Iceland first in the world to introduce equal pay for women

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Under the legislation presented to Parliament this week, both private companies and government agencies with 25 or more employees will be – hallelujah – required to prove they offer equal pay for work of equal value – regardless of gender, ethnicity, sexuality or nationality.

Businesses will be regularly audited to receive certification or face fines.

The law even has the support of both the country’s centre-right coalition government and the opposition – where women make up nearly 50 per cent of parliamentarians.

Women protest at Iceland’s Women’s Day Off in 2016. Credit: ABC News
Women protest at Iceland’s Women’s Day Off in 2016. Credit: ABC News

It’s not the first time the country, which has a population around 330,000, has led the way in gender equality. As we reported here, women have regularly held national protests against the wage gap by leaving work early.

Iceland hopes the move will cut its seven per cent wage gap to zero by 2022.

Compare this to Australia where the gap is more than double – 16 per cent.

It’s time to up our game. (Also check out our Mike Pence story and how the Trump administration is tearing down equal pay here.)

Lauren Broomham

Lauren is a journalist for villages.com.au, agedcare101 and The Donaldson Sisters. Growing up in a big family in small town communities, she has always had a love for the written word, joining her local library at the age of six months. With over eight years' experience in writing and editing, she is a keen follower of news and current affairs with a nose for a good story.


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