This Rathgar home with an enormous conservatory is on the market for €2.65 million
This Rathgar home with an enormous conservatory is on the market for €2.65 million

Megan Burns

Bidding for the 2021 Incognito postcard paintings kicks off tomorrow
Bidding for the 2021 Incognito postcard paintings kicks off tomorrow

Lauren Heskin

The future is fluid: Are we heading for a gender-neutral society?
The future is fluid: Are we heading for a gender-neutral society?

Rose Mary Roche

Oscars 2021: the 8 incredible films nominated for Best Picture you should watch next
Oscars 2021: the 8 incredible films nominated for Best Picture you should watch next

Jennifer McShane

This rug company is highlighting the crisis facing the Irish wool industry
This rug company is highlighting the crisis facing the Irish wool industry

Megan Burns

10 breathtaking places you shouldn’t miss along the Wild Atlantic Way
10 breathtaking places you shouldn’t miss along the Wild Atlantic Way

Sarah Finnan

The financial mistakes to avoid in your twenties
The financial mistakes to avoid in your twenties

Colette Sexton

Image / Editorial

The Women Of Iceland Are Not Worth 14% Less Than Men


by Holly O'Neill
26th Oct 2016
blank

Thousands of women in Iceland left work at 14:38 on Monday to protest the gender pay gap. According to men’s salaries in Iceland, women earn 14% percent less, so the women of Iceland decided to leave work 14% early.

14:38 is the time women in Iceland effectively stop getting paid and start working for free, as men in Iceland are paid on average 14% more to work a full day according to research from Expert Market.

The women of Iceland know how to stage a good protest. On the same date, October 24th, 1975, 90% of their female population stopped working for the day and effectively shut down all businesses. They were not just protesting the unequal pay, they were fed up with having no political representation – only nine women had ever won seats in parliament. The following year, Parliament passed a law that would guarantee equal pay and five years later, Iceland appointed the world’s first democratically elected female president. ?The Women’s Alliance, an all-female political party was established and more than a third of MPs were women by 1999.

In 2005, the women in Iceland protested the gender pay gap again and stopped working in protest at 14:08. In 2008, they stopped working at 14:25. The pay gap is narrowing, and the time that women in Iceland spend working for free in comparison to men is lengthening, but Iceland remains one of the best countries in the world for gender equality. Iceland has parental leave legislation that means each parent receives three months? paid leave that is non-transferable, almost half of board members of listed companies are now women, while 65% of Iceland’s university students and 41% of MPs are female, according?to research by The Guardian.?For the last six years, Iceland has been on top of the WEF Gender Pay Gap Index, but the pay gap has been slow to close. If the gap continues to get smaller at this current rate, it will take 52 years before men and women are being paid equally.

IMAGE spoke to the National Women’s Council of Ireland?today to see where Ireland sits in terms of the gender pay gap. The NWCI say that in recent years, Ireland’s Gender Pay Gap has widened from 12.6% to 14.4% while the Gender Pension Gap has widened from 35 to 37%.?ESRI research has shown that women in couples suffered a 14% loss in income during the recession compared to 9% for men. This is due to many reasons according to NWCI – women do the majority of care work, childcare costs are among the highest in Europe and the majority of low-paid workers are women, earning €20,000 a year or less. Already vulnerable groups have suffered some of the worst impacts with 58% of lone parents, mostly women, experiencing deprivation.

A new report by the World Economic Forum has also shown that it could take 170 years, until 2186, ?to globally eradicate the gender pay gap and the disparity in employment and pay opportunities for men and women. The study also shows that over the past 11 years, the gender pay gap has only closed by four percentage?points. Richard Samans and Saadia Zahidi, the authors of the report, hope that the report ?will serve as a call to action for governments to accelerate gender equality through bolder policymaking, to business to prioritise gender equality as a critical talent and moral imperative, and to all of us to become deeply conscious of the choices we make every day that impact gender equality globally?.

Women of Iceland, we applaud you.