New Gender Equality Council and Complaints Committee Appointed

The minister of Social Affairs has appointed a new Gender Equality Council and a new complaints committee, in accordance with the Act on the equal status and equal rights of women and men no. 10/2008, which came into effect in March this year. The Gender Equality Council now has eleven members, up from nine members under the previous law. The minister appoints the council‘s chairperson without nomination, but other members are nominated by various employee and employer‘s organizations, as well as women‘s and feminist organizations, the ministry of finance and the national association of local authorities. The centre for women‘s and gender studies at the University of Iceland, and an organization for the equality of parents, also have their representatives on the council.

The Complaints Committee on Gender Equality has three members, all of whom are lawyers, which is the same as under the previous law. However, the complaints committee‘s rulings will now be binding whereas before, the committee only issued opinions. Also, the law now requires that at least one member of the committee should have specialized knowledge of gender equality. In addition, the chairperson and vice-chairperson must meet the same requirements as judges in the lower courts.