Violations of gender equality are adjudicated by the Complaints Committee on Equal Status, whose members are appointed by the minister of social affairs and social security, who also appoints members of the Equal Status Council, which makes recommendations for improving workplace equality. Iceland's commitment to gender equality is as strong today as it has ever been. Photo from Wikimedia, Creative Commons, by Helgi Halldórsson. To put it another way, given the scale of one working day, women stop earning a salary at 14.53PM. There has been significant progress made in the prosecution of domestic abusers however. Which mountains are the most beautiful mountains in Iceland, where are they located and what kind of mountains can you find in Iceland? On top of all of this, over 80% of women in Iceland make up part of the work force. Of equal importance is the empowerment of women; the steady build of a culture that allows women to make choices for both their own benefit and the benefit of society as a whole. In Brennu-Njáls saga, the imposing warrior Gunnar struck his wife, Hallgerður Höskuldsdóttir, after she sent a slave to steal bread from a nearby farm. There were exceptions to this, however, an excellent example of which can be found in the Laxdæla saga. One of the protest’s ambitions was to prove how indispensable women are to the working life of Iceland’s economy. Photo from Wikimedia, Creative Commons, by Þorleifur Þorleifsson. “It's something that women in Iceland have worked very hard for,” Steingrímsdóttir said. The first organisations centred on women in Iceland were formed in the latter half of the 19th century. If you are a woman, the best country in the world to live is Iceland. Túngata 14 | 101 Reykjavík | Sími 552 2720 | info[at]humanrights.is, Notes on Iceland's Fourth periodic report on implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and political rights Pursuant to Article 40 of the Covenant, Notes on Iceland's Combined Seventeenth and Eighteenth Periodic Reports on Implementation of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, Notes on Iceland's Third Periodic Report on the Implementation of the Convention Against Torture, Notes on Iceland's Sixth Periodic Report on the Implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. ACT on Maternity/Paternity Leave and Parental Leave, No. Iceland officials say the pay gap could be eliminated entirely as soon as 2022. Outside of the Women's movement, she was a keen spokesperson for environmental issues and was instrumental in setting up the Reykjavik Summit, a crucial meeting held between Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev in the 1980s that helped to bring a close to the Cold War. Act on the Equal Status and Equal Rights of Women and Men. 95/2000, as amended by Act No. There was no specific political goals mentioned by the group, though the group’s formation itself sparked an awakening in Icelandic culture and birthed a litany of other movements. Photo from Wikimedia, Creative Commons, by Rob C. Croes, Vigdís Finnbogadóttir held the position of President of Iceland for sixteen years, making her the longest serving female president from any country to date. 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. As governments are slowly turning their focus from raw GDP-driven measurements toward well-being criteria when judging economic success, the demand for progressive social justice policies is increasing. After some discussion between the various women’s rights organisation, a strike was finally agreed, though the word ‘strike’ would be replaced by ‘day off’. On the 24th October, approximately 90% of the female population went on their professional and domestic strike for the Woman's Day Off. Fathers brought their children to the workplace (nurseries and schools were closed due to the lack of staff), the newspapers were unable to print (typesetters were almost always women), shops remained closed, telephone exchanges were left unanswered and even some radio broadcasts were forced to shut down. One year later, this percentage has dropped to a remarkable 3%. Finally, on June 15 1915,  women over the age of 40 could vote in national elections, a victory blemished by the difference in voting age from that of men, 25. This means it will now be illegal to pay men and women different wages for the same job. This new law effectively meant that authorities were able to close in and shut down the major institutions facilitating human trafficking and the sex trade. This fight for progress is nothing new. Both men eventually perished fighting over her hand in marriage, and though she still deeply loved Gunnlaugr, she was quickly married off to another man. In 1989, Anna Kristjánsdottir was forced to move to Sweden to receive any support at all. Statistics demonstrate that only a handful of rape victims report their crimes to the police and, from this, an even smaller number of convictions are made. Katrín Jakobsdóttir. In 2000, Iceland had also introduced a path-breaking parental leave policy, leading to its ranking as the best country in the world for gender equality by the World Economic Forum, for nine consecutive years. Since the 1960s, women have reached close to equal footing in the workforce, and numbers are still steadily growing. 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 still have less economic power than men, earning 14% to 18% less on average. Must you speak Icelandic to work here, and what are the working conditio... Justin Bieber came to Iceland to make the music video I'll Show You in 2015. Proving why it's the top country in the world when it comes to gender equality, Iceland's new law guaranteeing wage parity for women went into effect on January 1, 2018. Daily chart Iceland leads the way to women’s equality in the workplace. Aside from this situation, women were constrained to a domestic life, their duties confined to child care, clothes making, food preparation and housekeeping. In 1907, the group held a petition of over 11,000 signatories, signed by men and women from across the island. Throughout this time, women’s suffrage was beginning to take hold. In 2015, Iceland celebrated 100 years of women having the vote. This is the reality of wage disparity in 2017. Iceland’s prime minister discusses what gender means for rethinking the economy. Photo from Wikimedia, Creative Commons, by Johann Baptist Zwecker. These wards are staffed by specialised nurses, psychiatrists and support staff, as well as a team of lawyers to provide legal assistance and a line of communication to the police and the courts. Despite the fact she achieved only a narrow margin of a victory, her popularity quickly soared, securing her three later re-elections. Officials plans to make the pay gap a thing of Icelandic history by 2022 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. In 1869, a woman’s association group was formed in the countryside and focused on women’s unity. In 2015, the Free The Nipple campaign took ahold of Iceland in support of a female student who revealed her nipple on her own Twitter page and was bullied by another student because of it. This landmark piece of legislation will make Iceland the first country in the world to truly enforce equal pay between women and men. Where do you need to travel to find the most spectacular waterfalls? Iceland has long been known for its reputation on gender equality, and has ranked at the top of the Gender Equality Index since 2009. When was Guide to Iceland founded and why? In 1975, Icelandic women had grown tired of their lack of representation and inferior pay scales. Instead of working their routine jobs, cooking family meals, rearing the children or housekeeping, 25,000 women took to the streets as a unified force demanding change. Later in the saga, Gunnar’s house is surrounded by enemies, an assault he can at first withstand thanks to his superior archery. Within five years of the first Woman’s Day of Protest, Iceland had the world’s first democratically elected female head of state, President Vigdís Finnbogadóttir. gender equality One Country Is Making Sure All Employers Offer Equal Pay to Women By ... Once the legislation is introduced, it is expected to pass easily into law and take effect by 2020. "Everyone has some mark of distinction," said Gunnar, "and I won't ask you again.". She sees the law as the logical continuation of Iceland's history around gender equality. How has Guide to Iceland changed since its conception? There are a number of examples, however, that provide some insight into the independent-mindedness and strength of women in medieval Iceland, particularly the Laxdæla saga and Brennu-Njáls saga. Abortions were made legal in Iceland on the 28th January 1935, marking the way for a modern abortion legalisation policy. The orgiansation of gender equality work in Iceland The Minister of Social Affairs is in charge of the implement-ation of the gender equality legislation, but the Centre for Gender Equality is responsible for its administration. None of Business Iceland’s members have openly criticised the new law, Sigurðsson says. The medieval law book Grágás lays down these societal differences in writing, citing that women may not wear men’s clothes, cut their hair short or carry weapons, amongst others. Women managed the finances of the household, ran the farmstead in their husband’s absence and could become wealthy landowners in widowhood. Iceland is no exception. Helga lives the remainder of her life grieving for her fallen lover. To continue forward, the Icelandic government ran a gender-equality conference aimed at only men, with the important message that their participation is also required to help solve prevalent inequalities. The law, established in 2000, was revamped in 2008 with the overarching goal of reaching equal rights through all paradigms of society. This is why Iceland ranks first for gender equality It ranks fifth out of 144 countries on a gauge of “wage equality for similar work”. Are there waterfalls all around the country? It wasn't long though until Gunnar’s bowstring snapped in the midst of battle, and he called to his wife for aid; "Does anything depend on it?" In 2015, approximately 400 women reached out to the shelter for help, of which 126 took refuge. How were they built, what were they like to live in, and when did they stop being used? Though gender is often wrongly defined as an exclusive label to describe the sex of living creatures, the word has more recently applied solely to the human sphere, encompassing an individual's’ sense of self-identity, their social interactions and their daily behaviour. Icelanders are rightfully proud of these progressive statistics, but prouder still of the continuing fight for progress and the refusal to accept government compromises. In 1917, women were granted the same rights over their children as men. 90/2004. Rights Groups Express Concerns The Act on Equal Status and Equal Rights of Women and Men is the reason gender equality is a hallmark of Icelandic culture. A major turning point in the global fight for gender pay parity was marked on January 1, 2018 when a new Icelandic law on pay certification came into force. Public breastfeeding is considered completely normal in Iceland, the best example perhaps being when an MP breastfed her baby during parliament in 2016 that made international headlines. Photo from Wikimedia, Creative Commons, by Reynold Brown. Laws That Make Iceland The Most Gender-Equal Country In The World yahoo.com - MAKERS India. Adored by Icelanders the country over, Vigdís Finnbogadóttir is to this day very well aware that her victory came off the back of the 1975 Women's Day Off. Photo from Wikimedia, Creative Commons, by Fr. At the time, she firmly told the national press, "It is not acceptable that women or people in general are a product to be sold.". You can see the result here above. Vigdís Finnbogadóttir has not been the only woman to push the boundaries of leadership in Icelandic politics. Graphic … There is still much to be done, of course. Helga was a woman of exceptional beauty, caught in a love triangle between the noble warriors Gunnlaugr Ormstunga and Hrafn Önundarson. Besides the Soviet Union and Mexico, Iceland was the first nation to legalise clinical abortions - it was also the first not to retract that decision at a later date. Ugla is the former chairperson of Trans Iceland, a part of the '78 Association, Iceland's LGBTQIA rights group. When she finally passed, the community buried her inside of a ship, an honour usually reserved for the land’s wealthiest men. Having made the decision to return to the remainder of her family in Iceland, Unnur secretly commissioned the building of a ship which she later captained to the shores of her homeland. By 1904, Iceland had achieved home rule, lessening the crown’s influence over the country. Social movements, pressure groups and businesses boomed, providing Iceland with a strong middle class and laying the groundwork for the activism to come. In 1874, a woman’s college was formed in Reykjavik, funded in part by women’s movements from abroad. With that, Gunnar was overwhelmed by his enemies and killed in his home. Above you can see Ugla Stefanía Kristjönudóttir Jónsdóttir give a talk about non-binary gender and the obstacles they still face in society today, at a TEDx talk in Reykjavík. The tiny island nation consistently tops the World Economic Forum’s annual Global Gender Gap report. More than that, it cemented her reputation as a woman of action. Iceland is a progressive Nordic welfare state. Photo from Wikimedia, Creative Commons, by Magnús Ólafsson. As a transgender rights activist who prefers non-gendered pronouns, they write about genderqueer rights for Huffington Post, help to spread information about non-binary people, and aid genderqueer rights around the world. Labour unions and equal right advocates are quick to point out that, effectively, wage disparity means women in Iceland stop earning before their male counterparts; given the scale of a year, women would stop earning a salary on November 10th. A divorced single mother, her presidency took the world by surprise in the less liberally minded 1980s, with international headlines reading quite simply "WOMAN ELECTED PRESIDENT.". While not perfect, Iceland is a much more welcoming place today to discuss alternative gender issues than it was when the first transgender person came out. Iceland prioritizes equality and promotes parents in sharing their parental leave. By 1920, 20% of the population resided there and an urban centre began to form. Only 22% of managers and 30% of televised experts in Iceland are women. Modern legislation is also perceived to be more advanced, with mandatory paternal and maternal leave for parents, making the balance between family and working life shared more easily between partners. Instead, downtown Reykjavik was filled with cheering, pots banging, whistles, protest signs. This is why many policymakers are examining how Iceland, which enjoys a relatively strong economy, … In 2016, the 40th anniversary of the gender equality law, the Alþingi made amendments to the existing legislation, handing down stricter punishments for domestic abuse and stalking. On Gender Equality. In 1845, the Danish Crown allowed the re-establishment of the Alþingi, later expanding its influence as a legislative and financial body. The protest was so successful, in fact, that Iceland has kept up the tradition, hosting a Woman’s Day Off in 1985, 2005, 2010 and 2016. How do you sleep during the... Iceland is a country of many amazing waterfalls, but which are the best ones? Scandinavia’s development in this area has been put down to a number of factors, namely that all four countries above achieved 99% literacy rate for both sexes a number of decades ago. For the first century it was only for women, but in 1977 the first man attended it and it now educates both men and women. Guðrún Jónsdóttir of Stígamót, a Reykjavik organisation campaigning against sexual violence, said of the prime minister, "Johanna is a great feminist in that she challenges the men in her party and refuses to let them oppress her. Sexual harrassment and domestic violence are still key areas that require focus. There is still a lot of work left to be done, but Icelanders continue to lead the charge to full-scale gender equality, building a society that is just, fair and sets an international reputation. In Iceland, there are two emergency rape wards for women who have suffered sexual violence. The sagas are filled with stories about women goading their husbands to take action, vengeance if need be, to protect the familial honour. The policy requires companies with more than 25 employees to certify that they pay equally, regardless of gender or ethnicity. The laws state that the National University Hospital of Iceland is obligated to create a department dedicated to diagnosing gender dysphoria, as well as performing sex reassignment surgery (SRS). In 2009, even the percentage of women elected members of parliament surpassed that of men. Gender equality laws exist with extended maternity and paternity leave and affordable childcare that promote societal balance. This is just one example of how women in Norse society could be granted a greater level of respect and freedom than their European counterparts. How long does a sunset or a sunrise last? Throughout the sixties and seventies, grassroots activism had begun to take hold as the primary method for promoting civil liberties and instigating social change. Book your complete trip with the best companies only. Advertiser Disclosure Advertiser Disclosure. As they in 1975, men and women took to the streets of Reykjavik to make their voices heard. When does the midnight sun take place in Iceland? Since the first edition of the Forum report in 2006, Iceland has closed around 10% of its total gender gap, making it one of the fastest-improving countries in the world. After successfully completing an 18-month process, including living 12 months in accordance with their gender, applicants appear before a committee of professionals. National court decision. This has been the case since the passing of sweeping progressive legislation in 2012, protecting the rights of those outside the binary. Under her command were twenty crewmen, made up of slaves and prisoners all looking to flee home. In 2015, 94% of cases reported to the police were dropped. It is still running. She was instrumental in leading the charge against sexual violence and rape. Although Bieber fell in love with the country and decided to come back the following y... What are Icelandic turf houses? The fight for progress is ongoing and uphill. In Iceland, such discrimination has been prohibited by law since 1961. Gender equality has been defined by Iceland as: “the right to equal opportunities and resources regardless of gender—is both a fundamental human right and one of the foundations for a prosperous and harmonious planet.” They were also protected by law from unwanted attention or violence. Still, it continued despite women’s strike in year 1975 and as years and … This has almost been the case for two decades, with analysts pointing to the large scale female participation in the labour force, the closing pay gap and the opportunity for women to rise to positions of corporate and political esteem. By default, this left women in a position of power where they undertook traditionally male roles for the family: hunter, builder, farmer, etc. Iceland is determined to encourage more of its countrymen to sign up, and will also encourage males … In 1918, Iceland became a sovereign state, finally cutting all ties with Denmark and declaring independence in 1944. Childcare is subsidized by the government and available to all children from the age of one. Iceland and its Nordic cousins have always been considered more advanced in gender equality, with Finland, Norway and Sweden coming second, third and fourth respectively in the 2016 World Economic Forum survey. 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