Iceland Best Country for Women, Salary Gap Increases Skip to content

Iceland Best Country for Women, Salary Gap Increases

The difference in salaries between men and women in comparable jobs has increased in Iceland. Women are increasingly dissatisfied with their wages and say the workload has increased, as stated in a new survey conducted by SFR, the Union of Public Servants.


Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurdardóttir. Women’s involvement in politics is one of the reasons why Newsweek placed Iceland at the top of its ranking. Photo by Geir Ólafsson.

This is the second survey carried out recently which indicates a significant gender-based salary gap; according to a survey by VR Trade Union, women generally earn ten percent less than their male counterparts, Morgunbladid reports.

However, according to SFR’s survey, women who are in full time work generally earn 24 percent less than their male counterparts.

After factors like age, working hours, work experience, profession, education and shift bonuses have been taken into account, a 13.2 percent unexplained salary-gap remains.

“We are always on watch and will of course look for explanations on what is changing,” said Minister of Welfare Gudbjartur Hannesson of SFR’s poll. “We have just made wage contracts and won’t accept this.”

He speculated on reasons for the increase in salary gap. “Could it be that the breadwinner term is resurfacing? Or are all the special wage agreements men had more often than women before the collapse coming back? We must look into this.”

Meanwhile, Newsweek concluded recently that of all the countries in the world, Iceland is the best place to be a woman.

In a ranking of the world’s most progressive countries when it comes to women’s rights, Iceland topped the list, followed by Sweden and Canada.

The ranking takes factors like legal environment, healthcare, education, employment participation and involvement in politics into consideration.

The world’s three bottom countries when it comes to women’s rights are Chad, Afghanistan and Yemen, according to Newsweek.

Click here to read more about the wage contracts.


Sign up for our weekly newsletter

Get news from Iceland, photos, and in-depth stories delivered to your inbox every week!

* indicates required

Subscribe to Iceland Review

In-depth stories and high-quality photography showcasing life in Iceland!

Share article