[Ed. – Are businesses also required to hire women if more competent men are available?]
A European country has become the first in the world to make it illegal to pay men more than women.
In Iceland, firms that employ more than 25 people must now obtain a government certificate demonstrating pay equality, under new rules that kicked in on 1 January.
Those who fail to show equality will face penalty fines, according to broadcaster Al Jazeera.
The law was announced on March 8 on International Women’s Day 2017 as part of the Nordic country’s drive to eradicate the gender pay gap by 2022.
It comes after the UK reported a 16.9% pay gap between men and women in 2017.
Iceland, which has a population of around 323,000 people, has been ranked the best in the world for gender equality by the World Economic Forum for nine years in a row.
Dagny Osk Aradottir Pind, of the Icelandic Women’s Rights Association, told Al Jazeera: “The legislation is basically a mechanism that companies and organisations … evaluate every job that’s being done, and then they get a certification after they confirm the process if they are paying men and women equally.”