Culture

Women In Iceland Walked Off The Job To Protest The Gender Pay Gap

Thousands of women left work early in protest.

Thousands of Icelandic women walked off the job on Monday afternoon, in protest of the country’s gender pay gap. The walkout took place at 2:38pm, the point in an eight hour day at which women essentially stop being paid for their work given the 18% wage disparity between them and their male colleagues.

Protesters brandishing signs gathered at Austurvöllur square in Reykjavik, as well as at other sites around the country.

The protest was held on the 41st anniversary of Iceland’s Women’s Day Off, when approximately 90% of Icelandic women stopped working both at home and on the job in order to protest gender inequality.

Although Iceland has one of the world’s narrowest gender pay gaps, at the current rate of progress it will still be more than 50 years before wages are equal.

“No one puts up with waiting 50 years to reach a goal,” Gylfi Arnbjörnsson, president of the Icelandic Confederation of Labor, told UK paper The Independent. “It doesn’t matter whether it’s a gender pay gap or any other pay gap. It’s just unacceptable to say we’ll correct this in 50 years. That’s a lifetime.”

Feature image via Halldóra Mogensen/Twitter