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Equal Rights

As regards human rights, Icelandic women were in a similar position as their sisters in nearby countries through to the last century. The Women’s Rights Association of Iceland was established in 1907. A year later women were, for the first time, eligible to run for town council elections. In 1915, women gained a conditional right to vote and, with the Constitution of 1918, they gained voting rights and eligibility for election fully commensurate with men. Soon after, demands began for equal pay for equal work, but that struggle has proved to be both long and difficult.
    However, as a result of women gaining franchise many important steps have been taken to increase equal rights for women. It has been stressed that equal rights must be a concern of both sexes, in that both the sexes benefit from an improvement in equal rights in society. Attempts are made to make it possible for both men and women to co-ordinate their family lives with work. With paternity leave, non-discriminatory job application procedures, management plans in equal rights, and efforts to increase the participation of women in politics, work has been done to guarantee real equality between men and women. Even though all this work has been done there is still discrimination in the job market as well as in politics.