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Wed Jan 3, 2018, 01:57 PM

Iceland Becomes First Country to Punish Companies for Paying Women Less Than Men

Iceland Becomes First Country to Punish Companies for Paying Women Less Than Men

"In Iceland, an example of what happens if you actually elect women."


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Katrin Jakobsdottir became Iceland's prime minister in November. The country's parliament is almost 50 percent female. (Photo: @jellsmoor/Twitter)

Iceland began the new year by becoming the first country in the world to mandate that all its companies must pay men and women equally. Following years of passing legislation promoting equal pay, employers that fail to ensure pay parity will now be subject to fines, thanks to a law passed last spring that went into effect Monday. "We have had legislation saying that pay should be equal for men and women for decades now but we still have a pay gap," Dagny Osk Aradottir Pind of the Icelandic Women's Rights Association told Al Jazeera. "We have managed to raise awareness, and we have managed to get to the point that people realize that the legislation we have had in place is not working, and we need to do something more." Under the new law, companies that employ more than 25 people will have to prove to the government that they're paying men and women equally. Officials hope the move will help Iceland to completely close its gender wage gap by 2020.

Iceland has long been admired by progressives as a model of gender equality, filling nearly 50 percent of its parliament seats with women. Supporters of the new law say it couldn't have been put into action without the strong presence of female lawmakers. For the past nine years, the small island country has been the world's highest-ranking nation in terms of gender equality according to the World Economic Forum's (WEF) Global Gender Gap Report. Iceland has managed to close its gender gap by about 10 percent since the report was first compiled in 2006, according to the WEF's markers which include political empowerment, economic opportunity, and education access as well as compensation.

As Iceland makes strides in its gender equality goals, the United States' gender wage gap has been narrowing slowly, with women earning 83 percent of men's salaries. The U.S. ranks at number 49 on the WEF's list; less than 20 percent of members of Congress are women. According to the American Association of University Women, at the wage gap's current rate of narrowing, American women would have to wait until 2119 to be paid equally to their male counterparts. The Trump administration has shown little interest in improving the gap, with the president suspending an Obama-era rule which required employers to provide the government with pay equity data.

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https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/01/02/iceland-becomes-first-country-punish-companies-paying-women-less-men

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Response to niyad (Original post)

Wed Jan 3, 2018, 02:40 PM

1. Good for them!

The Iceland segment in Michael Moore's movie, "Where to Invade Next" was great. The entire movie, was, actually, but the one Icelandic woman said, "I wouldn't want to live in America. You don't care for each other there." So true.

at the wage gap's current rate of narrowing, American women would have to wait until 2119 to be paid equally to their male counterparts.




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Response to CrispyQ (Reply #1)

Wed Jan 3, 2018, 02:41 PM

2. but. . . . but. . . this is the greatest, the bestest, the most wonderfulest country in the world.

and it ranks about 37th in the world in terms of women in positions of power in politics and business.

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Response to niyad (Original post)

Thu Jan 4, 2018, 02:35 AM

3. I have seen a few TV shows when they mentioned how progressive their

country is with Women's rights and other issues. I think they get a ton of government assistance after have a baby and the majority of moms are single. They aren't struggling financially and they are given a ton of time off work and their medical bills aren't forcing them into bankruptcy as we are in the US.

The Scandinavian countries have the right mindset. They believe in contentment and aren't greedy. They even have a word for it. They do not want "more, more, more" and are content and satisfied with having enough to live comfortable, middle class lives. It is just the opposite of capitalist America and especially the uber greedy GOP and their billionaire donors who are never satisfied with any amount of money and always want more.

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Response to BigmanPigman (Reply #3)

Fri Jan 5, 2018, 04:09 PM

8. I have never understood the mindset of "never enough, never satisfied". sickening.

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Response to niyad (Reply #8)

Fri Jan 5, 2018, 04:12 PM

9. GREED is a sickness and apparently contagious,

especially in the GOP held Congress.

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Response to BigmanPigman (Reply #9)

Fri Jan 5, 2018, 04:13 PM

10. and there seems to be no cure (welll, there is ONE).

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Response to niyad (Original post)

Thu Jan 4, 2018, 03:46 AM

4. It is a beautiful country...but wickedly expensive!

I was there at the end of September for a few days. There are some really neat places to see. Women there are very independent and the newest trend is to not marry. If you ever get the opportunity to go...DO IT!









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Response to Behind the Aegis (Reply #4)

Fri Jan 5, 2018, 04:08 PM

6. thank you for sharing those lovely pictures. yes, if I ever have the opportunity, I will go there.

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Response to niyad (Original post)

Thu Jan 4, 2018, 12:22 PM

5. Sorry, Niyad, but it's almost impossible to emigrate there...

... unless you have relatives already in place.

-- Mal

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Response to malthaussen (Reply #5)

Fri Jan 5, 2018, 04:08 PM

7. darn!!!!! can we at least visit??

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Response to niyad (Original post)

Fri Jan 5, 2018, 04:15 PM

11. . . . .

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