Women in Iceland have had it up to here with wage disparity. Even though the country has, for years now, had the lowest gender gap in Europe, women there still earn 14 to 18 percent less than men. That means that around 2:38 pm, women effectively begin working for free according to statistics put out by women’s organisations. Which is why on Monday, thousands of women left work at this time and gathered in Austurvöllur square in the country’s capital, Reykjavik.
The massive protest was also a throw back to Women’s Day Off. This was an incredible strike that took place on the same day 41 years ago, when 90 percent of the country’s women – mums, grandmums, school children – refused to work, babysit or cook for their families, turned up in huge droves on the streets and protested the lack of equal pay and other issues. This isn’t the first time this month that thousands of women took to the streets to fight for vital issues. Last Wednesday, Argentinian women left their offices to protest the murder and rape of a 16-year-old girl and women in Warsaw shouted for pro-choice while protesting the Polish ban on abortions. These public displays of solidarity have been amazing to watch. Hooray for women uniting in protest!