Equal pay is now a legal requirement in Iceland, making it the first country to determine it illegal to pay a woman less than a man for the same job.
The legislation took effect Monday, the first day of 2018, and rules that companies with 25 or more employees will need to certify with the government that they are implementing equal pay policies. Those failing to comply or meet with standards will be fined. As The New York Timesreports, Iceland intends to completely close their gap by 2022.
"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," said Dagny Osk Aradottir Pind, a board member of the Icelandic Women's Rights Association, to Al Jazeera.
Iceland's pay gap was judged to be about 20% between men and women in 2015, about the same statistic as the U.S. pay gap that year.
The United States, for its part, only has two states (Alabama and Mississippi) without any laws at all protecting pay equity--however, as the American Association of University Women reports, only 8 states have strong ones.