French wo­men ur­ged to walk out of work over pay dis­pa­ri­ty

Times of Suriname - - ENGELS -

FRAN­CE - French wo­men we­re being ur­ged to walk out of work yes­ter­day to pro­test against being paid less than their ma­le col­lea­gues. Wo­men’s rights cam­paig­ners at the fe­mi­nist news­let­ter Les Glo­ri­eu­ses sug­ge­sted that dow­ning tools un­til the end of the year – in ef­fect ta­king 38.2 days off – would high­light the glo­bal wa­ge dis­pa­ri­ty that ex­perts say will not dis­ap­pear un­til 2186.

The edu­ca­ti­on mi­nis­ter, Na­jat Belka­cem, for­mer­ly mi­nis­ter for wo­men’s rights, back­ed the stri­ke. “The fight for pay equa­li­ty in­vol­ves the who­le of so­ci­e­ty. We can­not wait un­til 2186,” she twee­ted. Lau­ren­ce Ros­sig­nol, the cur­rent wo­men’s rights mi­nis­ter, wel­co­med the ini­ti­a­ti­ve and said she had no pro­blem with wo­men in her of­fi­ce stop­ping work to ta­ke part in the pro­test. “When wo­men pro­test, they ma­ke vi­si­ble what is in­vi­si­ble … I sup­port them,” she told Le Pa­ri­sien. The or­ga­ni­za­ti­on Osez le Fé­mi­nis­me (Da­re to be Fe­mi­nist) is al­so sup­por­ting the mo­ve­ment and has de­mand­ed that French com­pa­nies fa­ce fi­nes if they do not res­pect equal pay laws. The­re are just un­der 13.8 mil­li­on wor­king wo­men in Fran­ce, ma­king up 48% of the to­tal work­for­ce, but Eu­ro­stat fi­gu­res for 2014 show men’s sa­la­ries are about 15.1% hig­her. Across Eu­ro­pe, wo­men earn on aver­a­ge 16.1% less than men in equi­va­lent jobs. Ac­cor­ding to the Equal Pay Por­tal, the aver­a­ge gen­der pay gap in the UK de­crea­sed from 19.3% in 2015 to 18.1% in April 2016. The pro­test fol­lows a si­mi­lar mo­ve in Ice­land on 24 Oc­to­ber, when thou­sands of wo­men left work at 14.38 to de­mon­stra­te against the 14% wa­ge ine­qua­li­ty in the coun­try.

“It is a strong sign and we are joi­ning the pro­test,” said Les Glo­ri­eu­ses. “This dif­fe­ren­ce in sa­la­ries hi­des other ine­qua­li­ties. Wo­men al­so do un­paid work, li­ke hou­se­hold tas­ks.” Les Glo­ri­eu­ses ur­ged all French wo­men to ta­ke part in the pro­test yes­ter­day. “We re­pre­sent al­most half of the wor­king po­pu­la­ti­on and 52% of the to­tal po­pu­la­ti­on. We don’t want to wait un­til 2186 for equal sa­la­ries. We do not wish to wait 170 ye­ars for this pa­ri­ty.” (The­gu­ar­di­

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