Women across France have been encouraged to leave work at 4.34pm on November 7th in a bid to highlight the salary gap between male and female staff.
“From November 7th at 4.34pm (and 7 seconds), women will be working ‘for free’.”
So reads the latest newsletter from equal rights group Les Glorieuses, which has decided that enough is enough and that wage disparity needs to be addressed in France.
Inspired by similar hugely successful action in Iceland last week, the group is urging women to stop working at exactly that time on November 7th in a protest of salary inequality.
The date was chosen after a recent study showed that the discrepancy in salaries between men and women – listed as 15.1 percent in 2014 – suggested women may as well stop working before the end of the year to balance the scores.
The group noted on its Facebook page that the stakes are high if every working woman essentially goes on strike, with 13.8 million women registered as working in France’s work force (or 48 percent of the total).
And every bit helps, of course, not least considering that a recent report from the World Economic Forum predicted that the salary gap won’t disappear until the year 2186.
“We don’t want to wait until 2186 to achieve equal pay. We don’t want to wait 170 years to reach parity,” the group wrote.
Across Europe, women made on average 17 percent less than men, according to an October study of 40 countries by London-based Expert Market. The study compared the average salaries of men and women and concluded that of October 31st, European women have been essentially working for free.
On October 24th thousands of women in Iceland walked out of work and took to the streets calling for equality when it comes to pay.