This Wednesday, women across Iceland will walk off the job at 14:55 in response to the gender wage gap that is still very much a reality in the country, amongst other realities of daily life for women in Iceland.
RÚV reports that, according to the latest data from Statistics Iceland, women in Iceland are on average paid 26% less than their male colleagues. This effectively means that they are only paid for the first five hours and 55 minutes of an eight-hour workday.
Yesterday, numerous women gathered at the offices of Efling, one of Iceland’s largest labour unions, to prepare for this Wednesday’s Women’s Day Off. The gender wage gap is not the only underlying concern, either—the MeToo movement also plays an active role, as does the experiences of women of foreign origin, who are in an especially vulnerable position in Icelandic society.
“In recent months, stories of harassment, violence and injustice women suffer in the workplace have been shared on social media under the hashtag #MeToo,” a statement from the organisers reads in part. “These stories have made it clear that our fight for gender equality in the workplace cannot only be about equal pay, but must also be about safety in the workplace. We will no longer tolerate this harassment, violence and injustice! Women should be safe at work and safe at home.”
In addition to walking off the job, there will be a solidarity event at Arnarhóll at 15:30. Everyone is invited to attend.