iceland gender equality laws

Only 22% of managers and 30% of televised experts in Iceland are women. 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. On the 24th October, approximately 90% of the female population went on their professional and domestic strike for the Woman's Day Off. The first steps toward change had been taken. 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. Book your complete trip with the best companies only. 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. 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. By making this change, the organisers hoped the rally would earn mass support and would also avoid having participants disciplined by their employers. The first organisations centred on women in Iceland were formed in the latter half of the 19th century. 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. 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. 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. The legislation applies to employers with 25 or more staff, and requires businesses to obtain equal pay certification from accredited auditors. However, in 1850, Iceland was the first country in the world to grant equal inheritance rights to both men and women. How long is the period in which you can experience the midnight sun in Iceland? National court decision. In 2015, 94% of cases reported to the police were dropped. By 1920, 20% of the population resided there and an urban centre began to form. Although Bieber fell in love with the country and decided to come back the following y... What are Icelandic turf houses? Hallgerður was allowed to go free, though she was roundly condemned for her actions. Icelanders are rightfully proud of these progressive statistics, but prouder still of the continuing fight for progress and the refusal to accept government compromises. This law includes information on gender equality for government and businesses to follow. Gender equality laws exist with extended maternity and paternity leave and affordable childcare that promote societal balance. This fight for progress is nothing new. 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. 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. “It's something that women in Iceland have worked very hard for,” Steingrímsdóttir said. 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. Women managed the finances of the household, ran the farmstead in their husband’s absence and could become wealthy landowners in widowhood. The gender equality in Iceland isn't limited to simply females and males. Iceland is a progressive Nordic welfare state. How do you sleep during the... Iceland is a country of many amazing waterfalls, but which are the best ones? She was instrumental in leading the charge against sexual violence and rape. ACT on Maternity/Paternity Leave and Parental Leave, No. 95/2000, as amended by Act No. The first outright political woman’s right organisation was founded in Reykjavik in 1894, the Icelandic Women’s Association. Throughout the sixties and seventies, grassroots activism had begun to take hold as the primary method for promoting civil liberties and instigating social change. ACT on Maternity/Paternity Leave and Parental Leave, No. 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. To strike a woman would largely mean death for the aggressor. 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. As they in 1975, men and women took to the streets of Reykjavik to make their voices heard. 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. Iceland is committed to closing the gender pay gap by 2022, building on its proven track record on advancing gender equality. 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. This is largely down to the Keeping The Windows Open project, a UN side-mission that directly collaborates with the police. 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. In 2015, Iceland celebrated 100 years of women having the vote. 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. 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. The campaign itself is focused on the double standards regarding the censorship of the female breast and the sexualisation of women's bodies. In Iceland, such discrimination has been prohibited by law since 1961. The law, established in 2000, was revamped in 2008 with the overarching goal of reaching equal rights through all paradigms of society. You can see the result here above. 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. 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. 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. Ugla is the former chairperson of Trans Iceland, a part of the '78 Association, Iceland's LGBTQIA rights group. "My life depends on it," he said, "for they'll never be able to get me as long as I can use my bow." While there is still progression to be made in terms of the recognition of trans and genderqueer individuals, Iceland allows platforms for these people to represent themselves freely. Advertiser Disclosure Advertiser Disclosure. The Gender Pay Gap = not Cool! 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. This is why many policymakers are examining how Iceland, which enjoys a relatively strong economy, … 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. Photo from Wikimedia, Creative Commons, by Fr. Iceland is considered the top country in the world fort what concerns gender equality, women's rights and discrimination. Iceland … Helga the Fair is another example of how women were perceived through the eyes of medieval Icelanders, found in Gunnlaug's saga. 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. 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 … In 2015, approximately 400 women reached out to the shelter for help, of which 126 took refuge. By 1904, Iceland had achieved home rule, lessening the crown’s influence over the country. Iceland was ranked first in the World Economic Forum's 2015 Global Gender Gap Index, followed by Norway, Finland and Sweden. 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.". 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. Photo from Wikimedia, Creative Commons, by Reynold Brown. Despite the fact she achieved only a narrow margin of a victory, her popularity quickly soared, securing her three later re-elections. Photo from Wikimedia, Creative Commons, by Þorleifur Þorleifsson. 95/2000, as amended by Act No. One year later, this percentage has dropped to a remarkable 3%. 90/2004. What is Guide to Iceland? Act on the Equal Status and Equal Rights of Women and Men. Howell. Since her return, she has become recognised as a pioneer for transpeople, and celebrated for her bravery. An equal pay law, as recently implemented in Iceland, would help women aspire to better economic stability and better professional development. 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. More than that, it cemented her reputation as a woman of action. As of 2017, for the seventh year running, Iceland has topped the World Economic Forum’s survey for gender equality. Hallgerður was quick to condemn Gunnar’s action, however, telling him that he would pay for hitting her in time. 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. Iceland's commitment to gender equality is as strong today as it has ever been. 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. Iceland is determined to encourage more of its countrymen to sign up, and will also encourage males … In 2009, even the percentage of women elected members of parliament surpassed that of men. 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. 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. Sexual harrassment and domestic violence are still key areas that require focus. Are there waterfalls all around the country? "Everyone has some mark of distinction," said Gunnar, "and I won't ask you again.". How long does a sunset or a sunrise last? The sagas are filled with stories about women goading their husbands to take action, vengeance if need be, to protect the familial honour. 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. Traditionally, the men were away from the family at sea, either fishing or participating in Viking raids, leaving their wives and families at home. This means it will now be illegal to pay men and women different wages for the same job. Iceland’s prime minister discusses what gender means for rethinking the economy. However, there is … One of the protest’s ambitions was to prove how indispensable women are to the working life of Iceland’s economy. 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. More often than not, women were known for their role as an ‘inciter’. Continue... See a selection of wonderful photographs that capture the magic of the Northern Lights throughout Iceland. By many measures, Iceland leads the world in gender equality (Credit: Getty Images) “Most countries have equal pay laws: the UK established them in … Photo from Wikimedia, Creative Commons, by Magnus Fröderberg. Helga was a woman of exceptional beauty, caught in a love triangle between the noble warriors Gunnlaugr Ormstunga and Hrafn Önundarson. During these two enormous historical landmarks, Icelanders had begun to move from their farmsteads and fishing villages to make Reykjavik their new home. 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. ENG / Laws & Conventions / Icelandic Law / On Gender Equality. Photo from Wikimedia, Creative Commons, by Magnús Ólafsson. Graphic … 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. 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?" Out of 144 countries, this small island has ranked number one in political empowerment amongst women, number one for closing the gender income gap (government ambitions look to finalise this in 2022) and boasts corporate quotas which ensure women currently hold 44% of representation on company boards. she said. In 1869, a woman’s association group was formed in the countryside and focused on women’s unity. Where do you need to travel to find the most spectacular waterfalls? List of issues concerning Iceland and the implementation of the convention against torture. You May Like. Vigdís Finnbogadóttir has not been the only woman to push the boundaries of leadership in Icelandic politics. 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.” Later in the saga, Gunnar’s house is surrounded by enemies, an assault he can at first withstand thanks to his superior archery. In 1917, women were granted the same rights over their children as men. 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. The fight for progress is ongoing and uphill. Since the 1960s, women have reached close to equal footing in the workforce, and numbers are still steadily growing. 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. 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. None of Business Iceland’s members have openly criticised the new law, Sigurðsson says. The legislation came into force on Monday, January 1st. When was Guide to Iceland founded and why? Rights Groups Express Concerns In 1920, the age barrier to voting eligibility for women was removed entirely. 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. There is also a woman’s shelter for women and children who have suffered violence at home. 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. She sees the law as the logical continuation of Iceland's history around gender equality. There were exceptions to this, however, an excellent example of which can be found in the Laxdæla saga. The gender equality in Iceland isn't limited to simply females and males. These traits can be traced back to Iceland’s history as a seafaring nation. 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. Upon their arrival in Iceland, Unnur granted her crew their freedom and secured her position as a respected, merciful leader. She would later settle land, run a farmstead and give charitably to her supporters. Laws That Make Iceland The Most Gender-Equal Country In The World yahoo.com - MAKERS India. Academics have argued this position as the instigator arose from the woman’s inability to break through these gender roles themselves. ", 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. In 2009, Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir was elected as Iceland’s first female prime minister and, coincidentally, the world’s first openly gay head of state. In 1881, women were suddenly allowed to vote in local and parish elections. To put it another way, given the scale of one working day, women stop earning a salary at 14.53PM. The Nordic nation is the first to make pay equality mandatory for both public and private firms. They were also protected by law from unwanted attention or violence. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. Helga lives the remainder of her life grieving for her fallen lover. Childcare is subsidized by the government and available to all children from the age of one. Photo from Wikimedia, Creative Commons, by Nationaal Archief. 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. Iceland has long been known for its reputation on gender equality, and has ranked at the top of the Gender Equality Index since 2009. 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. 90/2004. The Act on Equal Status and Equal Rights of Women and Men is the reason gender equality is a hallmark of Icelandic culture. 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’. The group organised support meetings, lobbied parliament, distributed petitions and vehemently pushed obtaining the vote for women. 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. 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. Katrín Jakobsdóttir. Abortions were made legal in Iceland on the 28th January 1935, marking the way for a modern abortion legalisation policy. Aside from this situation, women were constrained to a domestic life, their duties confined to child care, clothes making, food preparation and housekeeping. In 1918, Iceland became a sovereign state, finally cutting all ties with Denmark and declaring independence in 1944. Throughout this time, women’s suffrage was beginning to take hold. The 19th and 20th century was a time of great change in Iceland, culturally, politically and socially. Social movements, pressure groups and businesses boomed, providing Iceland with a strong middle class and laying the groundwork for the activism to come. The policy requires companies with more than 25 employees to certify that they pay equally, regardless of gender or ethnicity. Discover a wide range of Mountain Tours Why not join this Mo... How can you find a job in Iceland? 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. 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. 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. “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). 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. 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