Across Iceland, women are leaving work at precisely 2:38pm and it’s for an incredible reason.
According to The New York Times’ Women in the World off shoot, women in Iceland are revolting against the gender pay gap and it’s absolutely amazing.
While Iceland is often heralded as one of the most progressive countries when it comes to women’s rights and gender equality, it seems that there are still some major discrepancies when it comes to how much men and women earn. It’s a sad state of affairs but the gender pay gap is a real and distressing problem.
That’s why women in Iceland are taking matters into their own hands.
In Iceland, women earn on average 14-18% less than men, which is why a whole bunch of amazing females decided that they’d only work what they’re paid for and left work at 2:38pm, the time they effectively have to work for free.
Speaking to The Guardian, one member of Icelandic feminist rap collective, Steiney Skuladottir, said that she felt that the slow development towards equal pay in the country was down to a women’s reluctance to ask for more money.
While the Icelandic government has made claims that it wants to close the gender pay gap by 2022, USA Today reports that, according to the Iceland Online Review, it will likely take closer to 52 years for women to achieve the same rate of pay as men in the country.
Gylfi Arnbjörnsson, president of ASÍ, the Icelandic Confederation of Labor, said that this figure was unnacceptable.
The walkout by thousands of women occurred on Monday (October 24th) in aid of Women’s Day Off, a recognition of the day in 1975 when 90% women went on strike.
The day in 1975 saw women refuse to work, cook, clean, and even conduct childcare as they fought for their rights. This lead to the world’s first democratic election of a woman president in the shape of Vigdis Finnbogadottir in 1980.
Speaking to Refinery29, Anna, a 26-year-old woman living in Reykjavik, said that the walk out remind people of the importance of what they’re fighting for.
The gender pay gap is a real and pervasive global problem that needs solving. It’s unacceptable that women should earn less than men for the same jobs. In fact, according to a report published by The Economist, the United States of America scored below average when it came to magazine’s Glass Ceiling Index. This comes despite the fact that world would roughly be $28 trillion better off if the pay gap were removed.
Basically, more needs to be done to fight this inequality and we totally salute those women in Iceland that are willing to put themselves out there and fight for what they believe in.