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Poll: Most Icelanders Support Equal Pay Law

Poll: Most Icelanders Support Equal Pay Law

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Art Bicnick

Published May 5, 2017

Iceland made international headlines last month with the passage of the so-called “equal pay law.” The law itself is complex in structure, but one key feature is that it would require companies with 25 employees or more to guarantee that male and female employees are being paid the same wages for the same work.

While the law was rife with grumblings and objections from some (almost entirely male) MPs, it turns out that most Icelandic voters support the measure.

According to a new poll from Market and Media Research, 60.1% of those surveyed were either very supportive (36.3%) or rather supportive (23.8%) of the law. By contrast, only 20.8% were either rather against (8.4%) or very against (12.4%) it, with the remaining 19.2% decidedly neutral on the subject.

To the surprise of absolutely no one, the demographic breakdown shows more women than men support the law.

To the surprise of absolutely no one, the demographic breakdown shows more women than men support the law. It was also most popular amongst those aged 18 to 29 and, in terms of income, had the greatest opposition from those making a million ISK or more per month. Politically, Progressive Party voters were the most opposed, while Left-Greens had the highest levels of support.

It bears mentioning that Icelanders aged 68 or older were more likely to support the equal pay law than those aged 30 to 67. We’re not historical anthropologists, but we speculate that this might be because those pushing 70 remember the bad old days long before Iceland became known as “the best country in the world to be a woman”, as opposed to those who grew up in Iceland the Feminist Paradise and have taken all those hard-fought freedoms for granted. Either way, the fact remains that most Icelanders do support this legislative step forward.


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