Iceland Set to Be Pioneer State Issuer of Gender Diversity Bonds

Article here. Excerpt:

'Iceland, a country that ranks highest in the world for equality, will become the first nation to borrow money to spend on improving the gender gap.

The move follows a protest at the end of last year by thousands of women, who took to the streets to highlight the inequality that still exists. The bond offering will break new ground in a hot market for ESG debt, where so far only companies or development agencies have linked borrowing to gender spending.

“We would be the first sovereign to do a bond in this format, which I think is a good opportunity to step in that market and show an example of what can be done,” Thórdís Kolbrún Reykfjörd Gylfadóttir, Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, told Bloomberg. She recently traveled to New York to talk about social gender bonds.

Iceland is the most gender equal country in the world based on economic opportunities, educational attainment, health care outcomes and political leadership, according to the World Economic Forum, a title it’s held onto for the past 14 years. Yet the protests drew attention to its remaining inequalities.

“I wouldn’t necessarily say that it’s directly linked to the recent protests. We have a history of gatherings and protests like this, and we look at it as a healthy sign of the kind of society we want to be,” Gylfadóttir said.'

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