Despite being one of the countries which took the first hit from the financial crisis in 2008, Iceland is now the first country in the world which is close to eradicate gender gap.
According to the Global Gender Gap report, introduced at the World Economic Forum, Iceland comes first at dealing with the gender gap, as she were at 86% of the gender gap in 2014 and she may close the gap in the years to come.
Saadia Zahidi, head of employment and gender Initiatives and member of the executive committee at the World Economic Forum said about Iceland: “They’re at 87% of the gap being closed right now…So they would be the first, if they continue at current rate of change” to hit 100%.”
Zahidi added that Iceland is “obviously a very small economy and talent, human capital, is very precious…And so I think they have taken the approach where you don’t want to be wasting any of that talent, and you want to ensure that both women and men are able to combine their family or social obligations along with their ability to work.”
However, Iceland was heavily criticized by politicians and economists around the world for its response after her private banks defaulted, due to the US financial crisis and the bank’s expansion. Iceland let the banks default as their debt was tens time bigger the national GDP and the people of the country knew that they would be forced to become a debt-country for decades in order to save the private firms.
In 2013, when Iceland’s President Olafur Ragnar Grimmson was asked why Iceland recovered the crisis while other countries in the EU are still struggling to prove that they have passed the crisis he said: “We were wise enough not to follow the traditional prevailing orthodoxies of the Western financial world in the last 30 years. We introduced currency controls, we let the banks fail, we provided support for the poor, and we didn’t introduce austerity measures like you’re seeing in Europe.”