On October 25, thousands of Icelandic women went home at 2:38PM, after 86% of their work-days had passed, to protest the fact that they only earn 86% of their male counterparts' wages.
They turned out for a mass demonstration that echoed the 1975 protests over pay equity, which saw over 90% of the country's women take to the street.
“[Iceland] is a good place to be a woman,” says Vigdis Finnbogadottir, who in 1980 became Iceland’s president and, in so doing, the world’s first democratically elected woman president. Things weren’t always so clear cut, however. Before October 24, 1975, when 90 percent of Iceland’s women went on strike — refusing to work, cook, or even provide childcare — only nine women had ever won seats in the country’s parliament. Just five years later, Finnbogadottir was elected. By 1999, more than a third of the country’s MPs were women. And in 2000, Iceland’s government passed a landmark parental leave legislation that many credit with helping women to return to work, and their former hours, more quickly after childbirth. Today, 90 percent of Icelandic fathers take parental leave — and research has shown that they continue to be involved in housework and childcare even after the leave is over.
[Women in Iceland protest country’s 14 percent pay gap by leaving work 14 percent early [NYT]
(Image: Salka Sól Eyfeld)
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