Women of Iceland unite on Wednesday for workplace equality

Women in Iceland will be walking out of their jobs this Wednesday at 14:55 as part of the Kvennafrí protest also known as the ‘Women’s Day Off’ protest primarily focusing on the unequal gender pay gap in the workplace.

Kvennafrí Logo

Credit: Valerie Pettis, pettisdesign.com

The Kvennafrí protest has been held four times since 1985, in recent years the time of the protest is decided by the pay gap percentage. This year, Statistics Iceland’s latest study showed women are paid 26% less than men for an 8 hour working day. This means on average, women are only paid for the first 5 hours and 55 minutes of their working day and will therefore leave at 14:55 (assuming the start time is 09:00) in participation of the protest.

In 2005 the Kvennafrí women left work at 14:08, 14:25 in 2010 and 14:38 in 2016. Kvennafarí’s website states ‘We have gained only 47 minutes in thirteen years. If progress continues at the same pace, we will need to wait another 29 years before women in Iceland have the same wages on average as men, in the year 2047!’

A solidarity event will be held at 15:30 for all to attend at Arnarhóll.

The movement is expanding to raise awareness of more issues such as supporting immigrant women who can be vulnerable to workplace exploitation and the harassment of women in the workplace. The #MeToo movement hosts many stories of harassment since October 2017, the stories resound the mission of Kvennafrí – Don’t Change Women, Change the World!