Target: Mr. Bjarni Benediktsson, Iceland’s Prime Minister
Goal: Praise legislation mandating equal pay and encourage its presentation to the European Union and the United Nations.
Iceland will be the first country in the world to guarantee equal pay regardless of gender, ethnicity, sexuality, or nationality. Iceland’s government introduced new legislation to address any pay gap in the aftermath of massive demonstrations by thousands of women in Reykjavik, Iceland’s capital. The unprecedented measure has an incredible potential to force a change in such a long-standing issue faced by women and other minorities. Therefore, Iceland’s government should help influence other countries and the international legislature to go in the same direction.
Currently, Iceland has a 14 to 18 percent gender pay gap. It has consistently ranked number one in the world for gender equality according to the World Economic Forum’s Gender Gap Index, followed by Finland, Norway, Sweden, and Rwanda. These top five countries are the only ones that have closed 80 percent of the gap or more. With such an excellent performance regarding equal payment, Iceland aims to fully close the gender pay gap by 2022 through policies affecting both public and private employers. Under the new law, thorough audits of the country’s employers will be performed and the results will be publicized. Companies that do not reach at least a 95 percent wage distribution rate can be sued, and its employees and unions will be allowed to seek compensation.
With such a sophisticated legislature, Iceland sets the example to other countries that are interested in working out financial and economic inequalities in the workplace. Due to the advanced stage of the discussion in Iceland, its prime minister should introduce the bill to international bodies and spread the debate to the European Union and the United Nations. There is an excellent opportunity for a domino effect in the mandate for equal pay in a worldwide scale: once more countries adopt the measures, others will be pressured to do so. Sign the petition to congratulate Iceland’s government and demand it becomes a protagonist in the change toward a fairer workplace.
Dear Mr. Benediktsson,
Iceland has held for years the first place in the World Economic Forum’s Gender Gap Index as the country with the tiniest gender pay gap. It is inspiring that Iceland is still committed to step even further and completely close the gender pay gap by 2022, with new legislation that holds both public and private employers accountable for guaranteeing equal payment.
While I congratulate you for the unprecedented yet welcome legislation, I also take the opportunity to demand that your government become a protagonist in the spread of this debate to other countries. The introduction of the bill to the European Union and the United Nations can be a great start for a domino effect and improvement of the gender pay gap around the world.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: European Parliament