In 2015, 94% of cases reported to the police were dropped. In 1918, Iceland became a sovereign state, finally cutting all ties with Denmark and declaring independence in 1944. These traits can be traced back to Iceland’s history as a seafaring nation. 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. List of issues concerning Iceland and the implementation of the convention against torture. Vigdis’ presidency and the laws Iceland enacted to enforce gender equality aren’t widely known. The gender equality in Iceland isn't limited to simply females and males. This fight for progress is nothing new. One year later, this percentage has dropped to a remarkable 3%. 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. Laws That Make Iceland The Most Gender-Equal Country In The World - MAKERS India. Icelandic Law. She was instrumental in leading the charge against sexual violence and rape. Throughout the sixties and seventies, grassroots activism had begun to take hold as the primary method for promoting civil liberties and instigating social change. Photo from Wikimedia, Creative Commons, by Nationaal Archief. 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. When she finally passed, the community buried her inside of a ship, an honour usually reserved for the land’s wealthiest men. There is still much to be done, of course. Continue... See a selection of wonderful photographs that capture the magic of the Northern Lights throughout Iceland. In 2009, Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir was elected as Iceland’s first female prime minister and, coincidentally, the world’s first openly gay head of state. 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. She would later settle land, run a farmstead and give charitably to her supporters. Iceland was ranked first in the World Economic Forum's 2015 Global Gender Gap Index, followed by Norway, Finland and Sweden. In 1911, women gained equal access to public grants, public office and education. 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. 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. However, in 1850, Iceland was the first country in the world to grant equal inheritance rights to both men and women. Iceland has long been known for its reputation on gender equality, and has ranked at the top of the Gender Equality Index since 2009. By making this change, the organisers hoped the rally would earn mass support and would also avoid having participants disciplined by their employers. 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. In 1881, women were suddenly allowed to vote in local and parish elections. 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. How were they built, what were they like to live in, and when did they stop being used? This is largely down to the Keeping The Windows Open project, a UN side-mission that directly collaborates with the police. The sagas are filled with stories about women goading their husbands to take action, vengeance if need be, to protect the familial honour. 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.". In 1869, a woman’s association group was formed in the countryside and focused on women’s unity. Officials plans to make the pay gap a thing of Icelandic history by 2022 "My life depends on it," he said, "for they'll never be able to get me as long as I can use my bow." Are there waterfalls all around the country? In 2009, even the percentage of women elected members of parliament surpassed that of men. To strike a woman would largely mean death for the aggressor. By 1920, 20% of the population resided there and an urban centre began to form. Later in the saga, Gunnar’s house is surrounded by enemies, an assault he can at first withstand thanks to his superior archery. 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. By many measures, Iceland leads the world in gender equality (Credit: Getty Images) “Most countries have equal pay laws: the UK established them in … 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. Sexual harrassment and domestic violence are still key areas that require focus. 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 … Advertiser Disclosure Advertiser Disclosure. More than that, it cemented her reputation as a woman of action. Women in the Icelandic sagas are mentioned fairly rarely but take a variety of roles, ranging from sorceresses to servant girls to Goddesses. Daily chart Iceland leads the way to women’s equality in the workplace. To put it another way, given the scale of one working day, women stop earning a salary at 14.53PM. Photo from Wikimedia, Creative Commons, by Helgi Halldórsson. 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. In 1989, Anna Kristjánsdottir was forced to move to Sweden to receive any support at all. The law, established in 2000, was revamped in 2008 with the overarching goal of reaching equal rights through all paradigms of society. ENG / Laws & Conventions / Icelandic Law / On Gender Equality. Book your complete trip with the best companies only. 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. Photo from Wikimedia, Creative Commons, by Magnus Fröderberg. What are Iceland’s most significant employment sectors, and what is the unemployment rate? 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. Laws requiring businesses to prove they are paying men and women equally have come into force in Iceland. 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. Still, it continued despite women’s strike in year 1975 and as years and … 90/2004. In 1917, women were granted the same rights over their children as men. Graphic … You can see the result here above. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. Hallgerður was allowed to go free, though she was roundly condemned for her actions. Traditionally, the men were away from the family at sea, either fishing or participating in Viking raids, leaving their wives and families at home. When was Guide to Iceland founded and why? Aside from this situation, women were constrained to a domestic life, their duties confined to child care, clothes making, food preparation and housekeeping. 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. But as our latest ranking shows, there is still progress to be made. As of 2017, for the seventh year running, Iceland has topped the World Economic Forum’s survey for gender equality. Photo from Wikimedia, Creative Commons, by Þorleifur Þorleifsson. Iceland is a progressive Nordic welfare state. 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. Rights Groups Express Concerns Vigdís Finnbogadóttir has not been the only woman to push the boundaries of leadership in Icelandic politics. There has been significant progress made in the prosecution of domestic abusers however. With that, Gunnar was overwhelmed by his enemies and killed in his home. The 19th and 20th century was a time of great change in Iceland, culturally, politically and socially. The fight for progress is ongoing and uphill. Twenty-one years later, women were eligible to represent these bodies. 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. 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 is Guide to Iceland? 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. 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 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. 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. Act on the Equal Status and Equal Rights of Women and Men. There were exceptions to this, however, an excellent example of which can be found in the Laxdæla saga. 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. In 1975, Icelandic women had grown tired of their lack of representation and inferior pay scales. 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. In 1920, the age barrier to voting eligibility for women was removed entirely. 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. Recent legislation also means that domestic abusers, or those accused, can be removed from the household. Only 22% of managers and 30% of televised experts in Iceland are women. This landmark piece of legislation will make Iceland the first country in the world to truly enforce equal pay between women and 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. Howell. The Gender Pay Gap = not Cool! How long is the period in which you can experience the midnight sun in Iceland? This is why many policymakers are examining how Iceland, which enjoys a relatively strong economy, … Under the new rules, companies… By 1904, Iceland had achieved home rule, lessening the crown’s influence over the country. 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. It is still running. 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. 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. Iceland prioritizes equality and promotes parents in sharing their parental leave. 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). However, there is … More often than not, women were known for their role as an ‘inciter’. 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. Iceland is considered the top country in the world fort what concerns gender equality, women's rights and discrimination. In Iceland, there are two emergency rape wards for women who have suffered sexual violence. Throughout this time, women’s suffrage was beginning to take hold. Helga the Fair is another example of how women were perceived through the eyes of medieval Icelanders, found in Gunnlaug's saga. How long does a sunset or a sunrise last? Photo from Wikimedia, Creative Commons, by Fr. There is also a woman’s shelter for women and children who have suffered violence at home. Since her return, she has become recognised as a pioneer for transpeople, and celebrated for her bravery. 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. 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. 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. The group organised support meetings, lobbied parliament, distributed petitions and vehemently pushed obtaining the vote for women. The campaign itself is focused on the double standards regarding the censorship of the female breast and the sexualisation of women's bodies. Although Bieber fell in love with the country and decided to come back the following y... What are Icelandic turf houses? 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. On the 24th October, approximately 90% of the female population went on their professional and domestic strike for the Woman's Day Off. You May Like. Iceland officials say the pay gap could be eliminated entirely as soon as 2022. “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). Helga was a woman of exceptional beauty, caught in a love triangle between the noble warriors Gunnlaugr Ormstunga and Hrafn Önundarson. An equal pay law, as recently implemented in Iceland, would help women aspire to better economic stability and better professional development. The first organisations centred on women in Iceland were formed in the latter half of the 19th century. 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. This is the reality of wage disparity in 2017. In 1845, the Danish Crown allowed the re-establishment of the Alþingi, later expanding its influence as a legislative and financial body. 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. ACT on Maternity/Paternity Leave and Parental Leave, No. Despite the fact she achieved only a narrow margin of a victory, her popularity quickly soared, securing her three later re-elections. If you are a woman, the best country in the world to live is Iceland. 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. 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. The legislation applies to employers with 25 or more staff, and requires businesses to obtain equal pay certification from accredited auditors. Photo from Wikimedia, Creative Commons, by Johann Baptist Zwecker. In tertiary education, the gender gap has in fact been reversed, with more women attending university than men. The Nordic nation is the first to make pay equality mandatory for both public and private firms. 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.