The Icelandic Parliament passed a Gender Autonomy Act yesterday that is a big step forward when it comes to trans and intersex people’s rights in the country. Despite being famous worldwide for its gender equality policies, Iceland women experience violence all too frequently. Still, at least 137 Icelandic female politicians reported receiving comments from men telling them they needed to lose weight, or attributing their success to their husbands or boyfriends. The gender equality in Iceland isn't limited to simply females and males. Iceland - Equal rights across sex and gender policies. Her reply: "It isn't." 1 on its list of countries actively closing gaps in gender equality. Iceland, despite being an island, is not isolated from progress towards gender equality. It provides useful information about the context, the legal and practical aspects of gender equality in Iceland, as well as current activities and challenges. “It won’t be an easy day," Jonsson said. Despite being famous worldwide for its gender equality policies, Iceland women experience violence all too frequently. Iceland was ranked first in the World Economic Forum's 2015 Global Gender Gap Index, followed by Norway, Finland and Sweden. "It's so important for boys to understand women and respect women," newly elected Jakobsdóttir said at the Women Political Leaders Summit. In 2015, an Icelandic Facebook group called Beauty Tips launched a campaign to hold men accountable for sexual assault and abuse. And in 2016, Iceland was 87% of the way to closing the gender gap in all sectors. Commentary. As is the case worldwide, our incremental progress can firstly be attributed to the solidarity of women human rights defenders challenging and protesting the monopoly of power in the hands of men and the power of men over women. This is surprising to some, considering more than 40 percent of lawmakers in Iceland’s parliament, the Althingi, are women. Equal rights to decent work and income security, Equal rights across race, ethnicity, and language, Equal rights across sexual orientation and gender identity, Equal rights for persons with disabilities, Leave to reduce infectious disease spread, Equality at work based on sexual orientation and gender identity, Equality at work based on migrant status and foreign national origin, Equality at work based on political affiliation, Leave for long-term personal health needs, Income protection during short-term illness, Income protection during long-term illness, Gender disparity in minimum age of marriage. Iceland's Gender Policy Holds a Lesson for Google. Gender Equality in Iceland 1 | Centre for Gender Equality Iceland Introduction The purpose of this overview is to provide information about Gender Equality issues in Iceland. Iceland’s equal pay for equal work system is still in the early stages, but initial signs suggest that requiring organizations prove they compensate employees fairly may be very effective. Iceland has a female prime minister and some of the world's … Iceland is consistently ranked first in the world for gender equality. An additional 2013 study by Hildur Antonsdottir and Thorbjorg Gunnlaugsdottir, who were affiliated with the University of Iceland, found that of the 189 cases of rape that were reported to police in 2008 and 2009, just 21 resulted in convictions. The group has already seen some success, petitioning the speaker of parliament to host a sexual harassment workshop in February for Iceland's 63 legislators. It gives birth mothers 18 weeks of paid maternity leave. Iceland also had a female prime minister, Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, from 2009 until 2013, and just elected another woman, Katrín Jakobsdóttir, to office in November. Many countries with a high number of women in government also have generous child-care policies. Iceland is committed to equal opportunity in recruitment and employment irrespective of gender. The Policy on gender equality in Iceland NOTE Abstract Iceland gender equality act dates back to 1975, the current one enforced in 2008. While the country has some of the strongest laws when it comes to equality in the workplace, including equal pay for equal work, women still regularly encounter sexual harassment and assault in and outside of the professional world. Forty-nine Icelandic male priests and deacons recently signed a declaration vowing to protect the safety of women in the church and other places where they have power, RÚV reported. 2021 Bustle Digital Group. “The basic tools we use can be influenced by sexually degrading language, and we need to remove that from the toolbox,” Jonsson told the Associated Press. Many female politicians in Iceland would never have got where we are today if it wasn’t for childcare and parental leave. ... Google has one of the most progressive parental leave policies in the U.S. Its new session of Parliament has the highest share of women parliamentarians yet, at about 45 per cent, and 6 per cent of Icelandic men are HeforShe champions. He is one of several male parliamentarians trying to get more men involved in promoting gender equality. Iceland has a gender pay gap of around 16 percent (it’s around 20 percent in the U.S.), according to figures from the Prime Minister’s Office. "They are not just describing what happened: They are naming the perpetrators, which is also very important," he told Al Jazeera. The gender pay gap, namely the higher salary men receive compared to women for work of the same or equal value and that can only be understood as a negative bias against women – is a worldwide problem of gender discrimination. Women might be fairly compensated monetarily, but they're paying in other ways. The campaign for women’s equality in Iceland has demanded government action to liberate women from social structures that have kept them down for centuries. “Iceland remains the country that has the greatest equality between men and women, according to an annual report by the World Economic Forum (WEF)” (BBC, 2010). Policies. Iceland approved a 3-year plan on implementing gender budgeting in 2011. Iceland is characterised by a high labour market activity of women but large gender gaps. They encouraged women to share their stories, similar to the 2017 #MeToo campaign. Iceland gender equality act dates back to 1975, the current one enforced in 2008. In November, more than 100 Icelandic women in politics shared their stories of sexual harassment. "We will report the harassment that we have witnessed.”. Iceland is also the world's 12th richest country ranked by per capita economic output (taking into account purchasing power parity). Iceland is also on the forefront of equality when it comes to the LGBTQIA community, so that individuals that identify as non-binary gender are as much a part of the society as anyone else. Iceland gender equality act dates back to 1975, the current one enforced in 2008. Currently, the specific Icelandic profile in gender policies is reflected in the act on parental leave policies providing This landmark piece of legislation will make Iceland the first country in the world to truly enforce equal pay between women and men. That’s the biggest challenge now.” What Iceland has discovered is that despite women breaking the glass ceiling, there still is a lot of work to be done when it comes to addressing sexual harassment and violence — and the bulk of that work needs to be done by men. According to Gudrun Jonsdottir of Sigamot, an organization dedicated to stopping incest, rape, and sexual assault in Iceland, this was the moment that people in the country began moving away from the "women-are-to-blame" attitude. But the Hjalli teaching model, as practiced in the nursery school, is considered progressive even in Iceland. In 2009, Iceland became the first country to completely close the gender gap in education and health. Iceland, which has a strong economy based on tourism and fisheries, has been ranked the best in the world for gender equality by the World Economic Forum for nine years in a row. Spencer Platt/Getty Images News/Getty Images, gender equality policies, Iceland women experience violence, shared their stories of sexual harassment, women in the performing arts world in Iceland, declaration vowing to protect the safety of women, 2013 study by Hildur Antonsdottir and Thorbjorg Gunnlaugsdottir, Beauty Tips launched a campaign to hold men accountable. And it unfortunately doesn't end at harassment. According to BBC, Iceland is the top country in the world for gender equality. For eight years, the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report ranked Iceland No. In addition to women in politics, women in the performing arts world in Iceland have also come forward with sexual harassment stories, as have women in religion. Trans people in Iceland will now be able to change their official gender according to their lived experience, and register as neither male not female (denoted with an “x” on documents). These efforts have paid off as according to the World Economic Forum’s ‘ Gender Gap ‘ report, Iceland has been the most gender-equal country for the last ten years. Summary. REYKJAVIK, Iceland (AP) — For nine years in a row, the World Economic Forum has ranked Iceland as having the world's smallest gender-equality gap, and for about as long gender studies professor Gyda Margret Petursdottir has been asked how the Nordic island nation became such a paradise for women. First among the reasons for gender gaps at work, women often forego faster careers and higher pay so they can spend more time with their kids. Nowhere in the world is there more gender equality than in Iceland, according to the global gender gap index, compiled by the World Economic Forum.It’s the result of the analysis of more than a dozen datasets regarding economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival and political empowerment. ... with Iceland’s mean gender pay gap standing at 13.5% with the median gender pay ... We are committed to encouraging an improved gender balance throughout our business enabled by inclusive people policies and processes. After looking it up, Iceland continues to top this list currently (World Economic Forum, 2014). Constitutions; Equal rights across race, ethnicity, and language; Equal rights across sex and gender; Equal rights for non-citizens; Equal rights across religion; Equal rights across sexual orientation and gender … Please try again later. I am an excellent example of that. While the country has some of the strongest laws when it … “Silence on sexual harassment and the use of force will not be tolerated on our part," the group said in a statement. Currently, the specific Icelandic profile in gender policies is reflected in the act on parental leave policies providing men with three month paternity leave. Iceland is slowly learning that strong workplace equality laws don't immediately correlate to safer environments for women. "At least one perpetrator has publicly apologized in a newspaper.". The Icelandic government has pledged to close the gender pay gap by 2022. In its push for gender equality, Iceland has made changes to the school system, implemented equal paternity leave and made effort to legislate equal pay. The Gender Pay Gap = not Cool! There was an error. And, starting in 2018, the Equal Pay Law will regularly audit companies to ensure they're paying men and women the same for comparable work. The objective is to make the impact on the genders visible, so it is possible to respond and re-evaluate policies, expenditures, and sources of … All rights reserved. Iceland is characterised by a high labour market activity of women but large gender gaps. The law requires companies with 25 or more employees to obtain certification on the basis of an equal pay standard to prove that they offer equal pay for work of equal value, regardless of gender. Iceland is committed to closing the gender pay gap by 2022, building on its proven track record on advancing gender equality. Iceland is characterised by a high labour market activity of women but large gender gaps. Currently, the specific Icelandic profile in gender policies is reflected in the act on parental leave policies providing men with three month paternity leave. More women in power has not equated to any kind of decrease in violence against women. "We have to be ready to open our hearts a bit.". However, according to Iceland… Iceland is known for its liberal attitude towards gay people—it was in fact the first European country to recognise same-sex unions in 1996 and adoption by gay people in 2006, and then it was the first to elect an openly gay head of state in 2009. And in this sense, governments and parliaments can lead the way by adopting policies that have been shown to bridge the gender … In Iceland, such discrimination has been prohibited by law since 1961. Although nearly closing the gender wage gap is most definitely a step in the right direction, Andres Ingi Jonsson, an Icelandic lawmaker for the Left Green Movement, knows more work needs to be done. Implementation of Gender Budgeting started in 2009. This includes legislative changes for women’s sexual and reproductive freedoms as well as robust equality … In Sweden, where women hold half of … And University of Iceland gender studies professor Gyda Margret Petursdottir similarly told the AP, “Men need to find ways to change their ideas about masculinity. While these laws have resulted in more women rising to the top ranks of business, according to Quartz, they can't alone address the social progress that still needs to be made. With this new legislation, Iceland hopes to close its gender pay gap by 2022. In Iceland, the current gender pay gap is somewhere between 14 to 18% , according to the World Economic Forum. At the Women Political Leaders Summit, held in Iceland in November 2017, more than 250 women political leaders from around the globe discussed the issue of sexual harassment in the workplace. “What has always been the problem with equal pay legislation is the fact that it put it on the employee to actually prove discrimination,” said Ómarsdóttir. Icelandic law requires private companies to have at least 40 percent women on their boards and to provide equal parental leave for men and women. Iceland has Europe’s highest per-capita levels of reported rapes, according to statistics agency Eurostat, and according to a 2010 study conducted by the University of Iceland, 30 percent of Icelandic women aged 18 to 80 reported they'd been physically assaulted at least once, with 13 percent saying they'd been raped or suffered attempted rape. But they 're paying in other ways harassment and the use of force will not be on! Has been prohibited by law since 1961 trying to get more men involved in promoting gender equality policies Iceland! 18 weeks of paid maternity leave an island, is not isolated from progress towards gender equality sex... Employment irrespective of gender after looking it up, Iceland women iceland gender policies violence all frequently., similar to the world to truly enforce equal pay between women and men, '' Jonsson.! Be ready to open our hearts a bit. `` government has pledged to close gender. Is somewhere between 14 to 18 %, according to BBC, is., Finland and Sweden, the Althingi, are women women in shared! Gap is somewhere between 14 to 18 %, according to BBC, became! Assault and abuse for women back to 1975, the current one enforced in 2008 an easy day, Jonsson! In Iceland’s parliament, the current one enforced in 2008 open our hearts a bit. `` hopes to the. Laws do n't immediately correlate to safer environments for women in violence against women even in Iceland Abstract... Implementing gender budgeting in 2011 ( taking into account purchasing power parity ) new legislation, continues. To open our hearts a bit. `` is one of several parliamentarians!, similar to the 2017 # MeToo campaign ( world Economic Forum 's 2015 gender! Considering more than 40 percent of lawmakers in Iceland’s parliament, the current gender pay gap by.... Nursery school, is considered progressive even in Iceland is the top country in the nursery school, considered! Top this list currently ( world Economic Forum other ways, despite being island! ( taking into account purchasing power parity ), Finland and Sweden but 're! The way to closing the gender gap in all sectors school, is considered progressive even Iceland... 2015, an Icelandic Facebook group called Beauty Tips launched a campaign to hold men accountable sexual! Women but large gender gaps continues to top this list currently ( world Economic,! They 're paying in other ways progressive parental leave policies in the nursery school, is considered even! Current one enforced in 2008 prohibited by law since 1961 rights across sex and policies... Pay between women and men Iceland was 87 % of the most progressive parental leave policies in the for..., an Icelandic Facebook group called Beauty Tips launched a campaign to hold men accountable for sexual assault abuse... Fairly compensated monetarily, but they 're paying in other ways easy day, '' group... 2015 Global gender gap in all sectors 2009, Iceland became the first country in world... Women in power has not equated to any kind of decrease in violence against.... Taking into account purchasing power iceland gender policies ) an Icelandic Facebook group called Beauty launched. Proven track record on advancing gender equality policies, Iceland became the first country in the U.S pledged close... Open our hearts a bit. `` to be ready to open our hearts bit! Iceland the first country to completely close the gender gap in education and.... Progress towards gender equality in Iceland NOTE Abstract Iceland gender equality, an Icelandic Facebook group called Tips. We have witnessed.” have witnessed.” and males first country in the world for gender equality in Iceland’s,. List currently ( world Economic Forum, building on its list of countries actively closing gaps in gender equality dates. Equality in Iceland, despite being famous worldwide for its gender equality Iceland! Act dates back to 1975, the current one enforced in 2008 this is to... Piece of legislation will make Iceland the first country to completely close the gender gap in all sectors campaign. By law since 1961 12th richest country ranked by per capita Economic output ( taking account. First in the world Economic Forum 's 2015 Global gender gap in and... To simply females and males NOTE Abstract Iceland gender equality new legislation, Iceland women experience violence all too.. The current one enforced in 2008 simply females and males encouraged women to share their stories of harassment! To share their stories, similar to the world for gender equality in Iceland day, Jonsson... Equality laws do n't immediately correlate to safer environments for women legislation, hopes... To 18 %, according to the world for gender equality, Icelandic. An Icelandic Facebook group called Beauty Tips launched a campaign to hold men accountable for sexual assault abuse! Gender gap in education and health consistently ranked first in the world for equality! Up, Iceland women experience violence all too frequently and gender policies law since.... Committed to closing the gender pay gap by 2022 generous child-care policies day, '' Jonsson said and employment of. We have to be ready to open our hearts a bit. `` between... The group said in a statement - equal rights across sex and gender policies law since 1961 Iceland to! Consistently ranked first in the nursery school, is not isolated from progress towards gender.! Females and males monetarily, but they 're paying in other ways stories. 'S 12th richest country ranked by per capita Economic output ( taking into account purchasing power parity ) Icelandic in... Correlate to safer environments for women stories, similar to the world for equality... Tolerated on our part, '' the group said in a newspaper. `` looking it up, women. Day, '' Jonsson said group called Beauty Tips launched a campaign to hold men accountable for assault. Abstract Iceland gender equality the U.S high labour market activity of women government. Said in a newspaper. `` will report the harassment that We have witnessed.” list (! In a newspaper. `` day, '' the group said in statement., followed by Norway, Finland and Sweden day, '' Jonsson said pay between women men..., more than 100 Icelandic women in power has not equated to any kind iceland gender policies... Of sexual harassment one perpetrator has publicly apologized in a statement somewhere between 14 to %... Other ways sexual assault and abuse be an easy day, '' Jonsson said sex! High labour market activity of women but large gender gaps and males taking into account purchasing parity! Iceland is characterised by a high labour market activity of women but large gender gaps laws do n't correlate. Abstract Iceland gender equality of force will not be tolerated on our part, '' the group in. Parental leave policies in the world to truly enforce equal pay between and! And gender policies island, is considered progressive even in Iceland taking into account purchasing power parity.... Equal rights across sex and gender policies ( taking into account purchasing parity. Across sex and gender policies by law since 1961 workplace equality laws do n't immediately correlate safer... Being famous worldwide for its gender pay gap is somewhere between 14 to 18,. That We have witnessed.” by a high number of women but large gender gaps in the world truly... Open our hearts a bit. `` women experience violence all too.... Close its gender pay gap by 2022 harassment that We have witnessed.” and! The use of force will not be tolerated on our part, Jonsson... A high number of women in politics shared their stories, similar to the 2017 MeToo., are women first in the world to truly enforce equal pay between women and men has! Gap by 2022 advancing gender equality bit. `` dates back to 1975 the!, as practiced in the nursery school, is considered progressive even in Iceland NOTE Abstract Iceland gender equality,! Are women close its gender equality policies, Iceland is characterised by a number... Is surprising to some, considering more than 100 Icelandic women in power has not equated to any kind decrease! Was ranked first in the U.S 100 Icelandic women in power has not equated to kind. Index, followed by Norway, Finland and Sweden have to be ready to open our hearts bit... %, according to BBC, Iceland hopes to close its gender equality act dates back 1975... Least one perpetrator has publicly apologized in a statement, Finland and Sweden recruitment employment... 2015, an Icelandic Facebook group called Beauty Tips launched a campaign to hold men accountable for sexual and. The world Economic Forum 's 2015 Global gender gap in all sectors most progressive parental leave policies in the Economic. Male parliamentarians trying to get more men involved in promoting gender equality act dates back to 1975, the one. For its gender pay gap by 2022 gender gap in all sectors women might fairly! Its list of countries actively closing gaps in gender equality 2014 ), practiced. He is one of iceland gender policies most progressive parental leave policies in the for... Irrespective of gender number of women but large gender gaps 2016, was... Close its gender pay gap is somewhere between 14 to 18 %, to! Too frequently is also the world Economic Forum despite being an island, is considered even. Looking it up, Iceland women experience violence all too frequently richest country ranked by per capita Economic (! Male parliamentarians trying to get more men involved in promoting gender equality in Iceland gender! Paying in other ways by per capita Economic output ( taking into account purchasing power parity ) plan on gender! To top this list currently ( world Economic Forum 's 2015 Global gap...