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Legislation

The current legislation on gender equality is the Act on Equal Status and Equal Rights Irrespective of Gender, No. 150/2020 and the Act on the Administration of Matters Concerning Equality, No. 151/ 2020. More legislation applies to equality matters, notably the Act on Gender Autonomy, No. 80/2019, the Act on Equal Treatment irrespective of Race and Ethnic Origin, No. 85/2018 and the Act on Equal Treatment on the Labour Market No. 86/2018. Further information on this legislation can be found on sub-pages on this webpage.

More Legislation Regarding Equality

More legislation applies to matters concerning equality issues such as parental leave, gender budgeting and equal representation within boards of institutions, corporations, and cooperatives.

In article 26 of the Media Act No. 38/2011 it is stated that media service providers shall, in all their activities, uphold democratic principles and ensure freedom of expression. They shall respect human rights and equality as well as the right to personal privacy, except in cases where the media service provider’s democratic role and the right of the public to information dictate otherwise. Media service providers shall take care to meet requirements regarding impartiality and accuracy in news and current affairs content and ensure that a variety of opinions is expressed, including both those of men and women.
Article 18 in the Public Finance Act No. 123/2015 states that the Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, in consultation with the minister responsible for gender equality, leads the formulation of a gender budgeting programme, which shall be taken into account in the drafting of the Budgeting Bill. The Budget Bill shall outline its effects on gender equality targets.

Following amendments to the laws on cooperatives (No. 22/1991) public limited companies (No. 2/1995), private limited companies (No. 138/1994), and partnerships (50/2007) companies that have over 50 employees are obligated to have both women and men on their company boards and if the board-members are more than three, the percentage of women or men cannot be under 40%. These amendments also included changes that will make monitoring easier.

The aim of Act on Maternity/Paternity Leave and Parental Leave No. 144/2020 is to ensure that a child’s access to both parents and to enable parents to reconcile work and family. Parents shall each have an independent entitlement to parental leave for up to six months, however, up to 6 weeks are assignable from one parent to the other. 

The aim of the Termination of Pregnancy Act No. 43/2019 is to ensure that the right to self-determination of women who request terminations of pregnancy is respected by granting them secure access to the health services. 

Any woman who so requests shall have the right to have her pregnancy terminated up to the end of the 22nd week of pregnancy. In all cases, pregnancy shall be terminated as soon as possible, and preferably before the end of the 12th week of pregnancy.

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