On the 24th October, approximately 90% of the female population went on their professional and domestic strike for the Woman's Day Off. 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. Iceland is committed to closing the gender pay gap by 2022, building on its proven track record on advancing gender equality. Icelanders are rightfully proud of these progressive statistics, but prouder still of the continuing fight for progress and the refusal to accept government compromises. However, there is … There is still much to be done, of course. Instead, downtown Reykjavik was filled with cheering, pots banging, whistles, protest signs. In Iceland, there are two emergency rape wards for women who have suffered sexual violence. When does the midnight sun take place in Iceland? 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. Discrimination on the basis of perceived or actual gender identity is illegal, and those who transition can change their names and genders on all legal documents without issue. Officials plans to make the pay gap a thing of Icelandic history by 2022 As of 2017, for the seventh year running, Iceland has topped the World Economic Forum’s survey for gender equality. In 2015, Iceland celebrated 100 years of women having the vote. 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. 90/2004. This has been the case since the passing of sweeping progressive legislation in 2012, protecting the rights of those outside the binary. Iceland’s Fight for Gender Equality and Women’s Rights I n addition to cold weather and warm people, one of the things Nordic countries are known for is gender equality. Graphic … Gender equality laws exist with extended maternity and paternity leave and affordable childcare that promote societal balance. Since her reign as president, the country has passed laws requiring businesses that have more than 15 employees to document and prove that they pay women equally. 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. One of the protest’s ambitions was to prove how indispensable women are to the working life of Iceland’s economy. They were also protected by law from unwanted attention or violence. This means it will now be illegal to pay men and women different wages for the same job. Iceland was ranked first in the World Economic Forum's 2015 Global Gender Gap Index, followed by Norway, Finland and Sweden. The fight for progress is ongoing and uphill. Helga lives the remainder of her life grieving for her fallen lover. 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. What are Iceland’s most significant employment sectors, and what is the unemployment rate? Photo from Wikimedia, Creative Commons, by Fr. On top of all of this, over 80% of women in Iceland make up part of the work force. Although Bieber fell in love with the country and decided to come back the following y... What are Icelandic turf houses? How has Guide to Iceland changed since its conception? “It's something that women in Iceland have worked very hard for,” Steingrímsdóttir said. 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. Photo from Wikimedia, Creative Commons, by Nationaal Archief. More than that, it cemented her reputation as a woman of action. Rights Groups Express Concerns In 1881, women were suddenly allowed to vote in local and parish elections. 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. ", Kolbrún Halldórsdóttir, a former MP with the Left-Green Movement, pushed to end stripping and lap dancing based on feminist ideals, rather than religious ones. 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. 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. None of Business Iceland’s members have openly criticised the new law, Sigurðsson says. Are there waterfalls all around the country? Photo from Wikimedia, Creative Commons, by the Delaware Art Museum. Since her return, she has become recognised as a pioneer for transpeople, and celebrated for her bravery. Hallgerður was quick to condemn Gunnar’s action, however, telling him that he would pay for hitting her in time. With that, Gunnar was overwhelmed by his enemies and killed in his home. Helga the Fair is another example of how women were perceived through the eyes of medieval Icelanders, found in Gunnlaug's saga. Hallgerður was allowed to go free, though she was roundly condemned for her actions. What is Guide to Iceland? Women in the Icelandic sagas are mentioned fairly rarely but take a variety of roles, ranging from sorceresses to servant girls to Goddesses. 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’. Despite the fact she achieved only a narrow margin of a victory, her popularity quickly soared, securing her three later re-elections. How long does a sunset or a sunrise last? 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. Traditionally, the men were away from the family at sea, either fishing or participating in Viking raids, leaving their wives and families at home. Parliamentarians discussed women’s suffrage on numerous occasions and were found to be in favour of it, proposing legislation quickly turned down by the more conservative Danish Crown. Iceland’s prime minister discusses what gender means for rethinking the economy. 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. Abortions were made legal in Iceland on the 28th January 1935, marking the way for a modern abortion legalisation policy. During these two enormous historical landmarks, Icelanders had begun to move from their farmsteads and fishing villages to make Reykjavik their new home. In 1907, the group held a petition of over 11,000 signatories, signed by men and women from across the island. Continue... See a selection of wonderful photographs that capture the magic of the Northern Lights throughout Iceland. Still, it continued despite women’s strike in year 1975 and as years and … 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?" Photo from Wikimedia, Creative Commons, by Magnus Fröderberg. 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. 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. Iceland is no exception. The Gender Pay Gap = not Cool! 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. One year later, this percentage has dropped to a remarkable 3%. 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. After successfully completing an 18-month process, including living 12 months in accordance with their gender, applicants appear before a committee of professionals. Social movements, pressure groups and businesses boomed, providing Iceland with a strong middle class and laying the groundwork for the activism to come. Photo from Wikimedia, Creative Commons, by Helgi Halldórsson. Advertiser Disclosure Advertiser Disclosure. As they in 1975, men and women took to the streets of Reykjavik to make their voices heard. 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”. 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. 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. 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. 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. ACT on Maternity/Paternity Leave and Parental Leave, No. 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. There is also a woman’s shelter for women and children who have suffered violence at home. Photo from Wikimedia, Creative Commons, by Reynold Brown. 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. In 2009, Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir was elected as Iceland’s first female prime minister and, coincidentally, the world’s first openly gay head of state. Throughout the sixties and seventies, grassroots activism had begun to take hold as the primary method for promoting civil liberties and instigating social change. 90/2004. Iceland … In 2009, even the percentage of women elected members of parliament surpassed that of men. 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. 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. Upon their arrival in Iceland, Unnur granted her crew their freedom and secured her position as a respected, merciful leader. Iceland - Minister of Education, Science and Culture found in breach of Gender Equality Act in appointing Permanent Secretary (104 KB) Gender Equality Complaints Committee ruled that the Minister of Culture had violated the Gender Equality Act when appointing the Permanent Secretary Publication date: 30 September 2020. 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. How long is the period in which you can experience the midnight sun in Iceland? Which mountains are the most beautiful mountains in Iceland, where are they located and what kind of mountains can you find in Iceland? Iceland's commitment to gender equality is as strong today as it has ever been. “I’m not a man and I never have been and my principle has always been not to try to act like a man.”Vigdís  Finnbogadóttir, President of Iceland (1980-1996). The Nordic nation is the first to make pay equality mandatory for both public and private firms. 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.” she said. In 1845, the Danish Crown allowed the re-establishment of the Alþingi, later expanding its influence as a legislative and financial body. Aside from this situation, women were constrained to a domestic life, their duties confined to child care, clothes making, food preparation and housekeeping. In 1874, a woman’s college was formed in Reykjavik, funded in part by women’s movements from abroad. You May Like. The policy requires companies with more than 25 employees to certify that they pay equally, regardless of gender or ethnicity. "Everyone has some mark of distinction," said Gunnar, "and I won't ask you again.". Iceland has long been known for its reputation on gender equality, and has ranked at the top of the Gender Equality Index since 2009. Recent legislation also means that domestic abusers, or those accused, can be removed from the household. List of issues concerning Iceland and the implementation of the convention against torture. Howell, Wikimedia, Creative Commons, by Magnús Ólafsson, Wikimedia, Creative Commons, by Þorleifur Þorleifsson, Wikimedia, Creative Commons, by Rob C. Croes, Wikimedia, Creative Commons, by Helgi Halldórsson, Intimately experience the world's northernmost capital by booking a, Get to know gay rights in Iceland by reading, Find out more about Icelandic culture by reading. 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. Icelandic Law. In 1989, Anna Kristjánsdottir was forced to move to Sweden to receive any support at all. She sees the law as the logical continuation of Iceland's history around gender equality. 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. Where do you need to travel to find the most spectacular waterfalls? 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. It is still running. Under the new rules, companies… Vigdis’ presidency and the laws Iceland enacted to enforce gender equality aren’t widely known. In 2015, 94% of cases reported to the police were dropped. Gender Equality in Iceland Stepping Stones 1850 Equal inheritance rights for men and women 1882 Widows and single women gain local suffrage 1886 Girls can enter secondary school 1900 Married women gain the right to control their income and personal property 1907 Icelandic Women’s Rights Association founded 1908 Women gain local suffrage and the right to hold local office 1908 The first … Though she was initially reluctant to run, Vigdis was soon convinced by her fellow countrymen to prove women could successfully run a campaign and win. "My life depends on it," he said, "for they'll never be able to get me as long as I can use my bow." In 1918, Iceland became a sovereign state, finally cutting all ties with Denmark and declaring independence in 1944. There were exceptions to this, however, an excellent example of which can be found in the Laxdæla saga. To put it another way, given the scale of one working day, women stop earning a salary at 14.53PM. 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. Twenty-one years later, women were eligible to represent these bodies. In 1920, the age barrier to voting eligibility for women was removed entirely. In 1975, Icelandic women had grown tired of their lack of representation and inferior pay scales. The gender equality in Iceland isn't limited to simply females and males. The legislation applies to employers with 25 or more staff, and requires businesses to obtain equal pay certification from accredited auditors. How do you sleep during the... Iceland is a country of many amazing waterfalls, but which are the best ones? 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. Discover a wide range of Mountain Tours Why not join this Mo... How can you find a job in Iceland? You can see the result here above. This landmark piece of legislation will make Iceland the first country in the world to truly enforce equal pay between women and men. Book your complete trip with the best companies only. Women still have less economic power than men, earning 14% to 18% less on average. In tertiary education, the gender gap has in fact been reversed, with more women attending university than men. 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. The group organised support meetings, lobbied parliament, distributed petitions and vehemently pushed obtaining the vote for women. These traits can be traced back to Iceland’s history as a seafaring nation. Katrín Jakobsdóttir. Are there any historical turf houses left in Iceland, and where can you find t... Guide to Iceland | The Story of the Leading Travel Agency of Iceland, 5 Reasons Not to Behave Like Justin Bieber in Iceland, The Ultimate Guide to Turf Houses in Iceland, A Snapshot of Iceland | Facts, Figures & Information, World Economic Forum’s survey for gender equality, Wikimedia, Creative Commons, by Magnus Fröderberg, Wikimedia, Creative Commons, by Johann Baptist Zwecker, sorceresses to servant girls to Goddesses, Wikimedia, Creative Commons, by Reynold Brown, Wikimedia, Creative Commons, by the Delaware Art Museum, Wikimedia, Creative Commons, by Fr. But as our latest ranking shows, there is still progress to be made. 95/2000, as amended by Act No. In 1917, women were granted the same rights over their children as men. Laws requiring businesses to prove they are paying men and women equally have come into force in Iceland. This fight for progress is nothing new. The legislation came into force on Monday, January 1st. The Act on Equal Status and Equal Rights of Women and Men is the reason gender equality is a hallmark of Icelandic culture. Gender equality—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. 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. 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. "Then I'll recall," she said, "the slap you gave me, and I don't care whether you hold out for a long or a short time." Women make up 66% of graduates from University, hold 30 of the country’s 62 parliamentary seats (48%), and elected their first female prime minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir from 2009 to 2013. With the UN having declared 1975 a ‘Women’s Year’, it was the radical feminist movement the Red Stockings who first proposed the idea of a strike, not only to commemorate the occasion but to finally make a statement. 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. 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. Act on the Equal Status and Equal Rights of Women and Men. More often than not, women were known for their role as an ‘inciter’. Icelandic society immediately felt this absence. The 19th and 20th century was a time of great change in Iceland, culturally, politically and socially. However, in 1850, Iceland was the first country in the world to grant equal inheritance rights to both men and women. “It’s quite difficult to come out publicly against a measure that enhances gender equality. In 1869, a woman’s association group was formed in the countryside and focused on women’s unity. Helga was a woman of exceptional beauty, caught in a love triangle between the noble warriors Gunnlaugr Ormstunga and Hrafn Önundarson. There has been significant progress made in the prosecution of domestic abusers however. Throughout her tenure as a President, she vigorously pursued the development of girl's education, coined the expression "never let the woman down" and acted a role model for young Icelandic women. The first steps toward change had been taken. Iceland is a progressive Nordic welfare state. Iceland is considered the top country in the world fort what concerns gender equality, women's rights and discrimination. In 2015, approximately 400 women reached out to the shelter for help, of which 126 took refuge. Under these laws, individuals should be able to determine their own gender, their gender identity will be recognised, individuals will enjoy bodily integrity and equality before the law regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, sex characteristics, and gender expression. The sagas are filled with stories about women goading their husbands to take action, vengeance if need be, to protect the familial honour. Women in sport get a lot of media coverage, and have many great supporters of both individuals that watch them compete and bigger companies that back them with funding. By making this change, the organisers hoped the rally would earn mass support and would also avoid having participants disciplined by their employers. This is the reality of wage disparity in 2017. By 1920, 20% of the population resided there and an urban centre began to form. This law includes information on gender equality for government and businesses to follow. Childcare is subsidized by the government and available to all children from the age of one. Photo from Wikimedia, Creative Commons, by Þorleifur Þorleifsson. By default, this left women in a position of power where they undertook traditionally male roles for the family: hunter, builder, farmer, etc. As of 2010, strip clubs, prostitution and profiting off the nudity of employees have all been made illegal. 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. 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. Daily chart Iceland leads the way to women’s equality in the workplace. 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. Now, it just became the first country to legalise equal pay: a new law, in fact, makes it illegal to pay men more than women. Under her command were twenty crewmen, made up of slaves and prisoners all looking to flee home. 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. On Gender Equality. And although the gender gap at work does not end there, it would be a big step for companies to begin to know the advantages of labor equality in terms of employee profitability and well-being. Academics have argued this position as the instigator arose from the woman’s inability to break through these gender roles themselves. Iceland is determined to encourage more of its countrymen to sign up, and will also encourage males … 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.". In Iceland, such discrimination has been prohibited by law since 1961. Later in the saga, Gunnar’s house is surrounded by enemies, an assault he can at first withstand thanks to his superior archery. The law, established in 2000, was revamped in 2008 with the overarching goal of reaching equal rights through all paradigms of society. Vigdís Finnbogadóttir has not been the only woman to push the boundaries of leadership in Icelandic politics. The New Year ushered in a new wage policy in Iceland, where it is now illegal for companies to pay men more than women for the same job. An equal pay law, as recently implemented in Iceland, would help women aspire to better economic stability and better professional development. Council of Europe's Commissioner for Human Rights Report on Iceland 2005, The protection of Human Rights in the Hungarian Fundamental Law, Hate Speech - an overview and recommendations for combating it, Overview of the case law on the prohibitation of discrimination of the ECJ and ECtHR, Act on the Equal Status and Equal Rights of Women and Men. 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. Photo from Wikimedia, Creative Commons, by Johann Baptist Zwecker. Given the famine at the time, this was considered a grave crime. When she finally passed, the community buried her inside of a ship, an honour usually reserved for the land’s wealthiest men. The campaign itself is focused on the double standards regarding the censorship of the female breast and the sexualisation of women's bodies. This is largely down to the Keeping The Windows Open project, a UN side-mission that directly collaborates with the police. The gender equality in Iceland isn't limited to simply females and males. When was Guide to Iceland founded and why? Iceland prioritizes equality and promotes parents in sharing their parental leave. By many measures, Iceland leads the world in gender equality (Credit: Getty Images) “Most countries have equal pay laws: the UK established them in … Howell. 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. 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. Since the 1960s, women have reached close to equal footing in the workforce, and numbers are still steadily growing. Iceland officials say the pay gap could be eliminated entirely as soon as 2022. 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). By 1904, Iceland had achieved home rule, lessening the crown’s influence over the country. 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. 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. 95/2000, as amended by Act No. The World Economic Forum 2020 report says Iceland is the most gender-equal … 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. A year after their formation, the group could boast a parliamentary petition of over 2000 signatories. 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. A 2015 survey also showed that almost half of the women working in the service industry have experienced sexual harassment of one kind or another. The first organisations centred on women in Iceland were formed in the latter half of the 19th century. Only 22% of managers and 30% of televised experts in Iceland are women. Sexual harrassment and domestic violence are still key areas that require focus. 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. Laws That Make Iceland The Most Gender-Equal Country In The World yahoo.com - MAKERS India. Women managed the finances of the household, ran the farmstead in their husband’s absence and could become wealthy landowners in widowhood. 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.". If you are a woman, the best country in the world to live is Iceland. Photo from Wikimedia, Creative Commons, by Magnús Ólafsson. 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