Today, at 14:55 Icelandic time, women across Iceland will walk off the job in protest against the gender wage gap and other issues that specifically affect women in Iceland.
The Women’s Day Off was originally started in 1975, and continues to this day. As the organisers of the event point out, the average wage of women in Iceland is only 74% of the average wage of men. As such, women in Iceland are on average effectively paid much less than men for an eight-hour workday, hence the call to leave work early.
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.