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The history of equal pay in Iceland

from 1961 to 2017

The overview below shows the timeline of laws that have been approved in Parliament to increase gender equality from the time the first law on equal pay was passed in 1961 until the law on equal pay certification was enacted in 2017. The law on equal pay included targeted measures over six years a period in which women's wages were raised in steps over a six-year period to meet men's wages. The law was intended to bridge the gap, but in 1975, 14 years later, there was still a long way to go and women then took matters into their own hands, as on October 24 of that year, 90% of working women in Iceland took a day off to demand equality in the labor market. These actions brought women the first equality laws, Law on equality between women and men no. 78/1976.

The picture below shows a rough overview of the main points that have been added to the law until law no. 56/2017 on amendments to the Equality Act was approved in 2017, but it includes a requirement for certification of equal pay systems for all organizational units with 25 or more employees.

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