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Women's Day Off

Although Iceland is the world's highest ranking country globally when it comes to gender equality, it is clear that things still aren't quite perfect for our Nordic ladies. Women's Day Off is observed each year on October 24th, when women stop working the minute they are working for free in an 8 hour work day compared to men.

It is backed by women's unions and organizations and has been happening each year since it started in 1975. In 2005, women left work at 2:08 pm. In 2008, they left to protest at 2:25 pm. This year they left at 2:38 pm, each year getting later and later, indicating that the pay gap is decreasing...very slowly. The walk out time moves less than three minutes later per year. At this rate, women in Iceland wont be earning equal wages to their male counterparts until 2068, 52 years from now. HELL NO.

A 26 year old women named Anna from Reykjavík told a reporter from Refinery 29, "We know that no country in the world has reached gender equality, but today reminds me that not even the country that's supposed to have the most equal rights pays women the same as men." As women, it seems ridiculous to still be fighting for equal pay in comparison to men, but to then think that there is an entire lifetime of progression before that equality is met is mind blowing. 

Although wages are supposed to be based on education and job type, the gender gap still stands; it has been illegal to discriminate based on gender in Iceland for 60 years.

Glyfi Arnbjörnsson, president of ASÍ, the Icelandic Confederation of Labor, told the Icelandic Review, "No one puts up with waiting 50 years to reach a goal. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a gender pay gap or any other pay gap. It’s just unacceptable to say we’ll correct this in 50 years. That’s a lifetime."

Check back with us next week for more STRITA news xx

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