Sen. Bernie Sanders lauded the effort, urging the U.S. to “follow the example of our brothers and sisters in Iceland”
It’s the land of fire and ice — and now equal pay.
Iceland this week became the world’s first country to mandate women and men be paid equally for doing the same job, Al Jazeera reports. Under penalty of fine, government agencies and companies with at least 25 employees are required as of Jan. 1 to procure a government certification of their pay-parity policies, according to the outlet.
The law, announced last March on International Women’s Day, “is basically a mechanism that companies and organisations … evaluate every job that’s being done, and then they get a certification after they confirm the process if they are paying men and women equally,” Icelandic Women’s Rights Association board member Dagny Osk Aradottir Pind told Al Jazeera.
The Nordic island topped the World Economic Forum’s 2017 Global Gender Gap Index, which ranks 144 nations’ progress toward gender equality in areas like workforce participation, economic and political leadership, health and education. Iceland snagged the no. 1 spot for the ninth year in a row, having closed more than 87% of its gender gap — though, the WEF acknowledged, its gender gaps in educational attainment and economic participation and opportunity grew. The United States, in comparison, ranked no. 49 overall.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a longtime champion of the Nordic economic system, applauded the legislation’s enactment in a Facebook post.
“We must follow the example of our brothers and sisters in Iceland and demand equal pay for equal work now, regardless of gender, ethnicity, sexuality or nationality,” he wrote. “As we fight back Republican efforts to revert women’s rights to second-class, it is important to not lose sight that our real goal is to move forward and expand women’s rights.”
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