Why Iceland is the World Champion of Gender Equality

It's a great time to be a woman... in Iceland. Here are three reasons why.

This is why Iceland ranks first for gender equality

Equal Pay - Since January 1, 2018, Iceland is the first country where equal pay is mandatory and monitored. It’s no longer up to women to prove they’re the victims of discrimination. Instead, companies must prove that male and female staff doing equal work receive equal pay. The battle began on October 24, 1975 with the women’s strike according to the Swarthmore University NV Database. 90% of Icelandic women stopped working to defend their rights and to show that half of the country is essential for running it.

Political Representation - Iceland was the first country to democratically elect a woman president in 1980. Vigdís Finnbogadóttir— a single mother— carried out her duties during four consecutive terms.

Household Feminism - In Iceland, 80% of women work — compared to 57% in the U.S. Parental leave lasts for 9 months: a third is for the mother, another third for the father, and the last third can be shared by both parents. 90% of all fathers take part of the leave. Although Iceland is more equalitarian than other countries, some differences still persist in 2017, men took 3 months of parental leave, on average, compared to 6 months for women based on data from Statistics Iceland and the DOL.

Women who are paving the way for gender equality, civil rights and human rights, including Katrin Oddsdottir, a human rights attorney who took part in writing Iceland's new constitution), Heida Birgisdóttir, Nikita clothing founder, documented as one of Iceland's first female snowboarders and first female surfer, and Vilborg Arna Gissurardóttir, an explorer, the first Icelander to reach the summit of Mount Everest. While highlighting Iceland’s progressive policies, they hope the world shifts how women of their country are portrayed in the media.