Why Iceland's women are leaving work at precisely 2:38 p.m.

Thousands of women left work at 2:38 p.m. in Iceland on Monday to protest the gender pay gap in the country.

In Iceland, women earn 14 to 18% less than men, which means on an average eight hour work day, women are essentially working for free after 2:38 p.m, according to labor unions and rights groups, the New York Time’s Women in the World section reports.

Across the country, women left work at 2:38 p.m. and took to the streets to protest.

Women in Iceland come together to fight for equality, shouting OUT #kvennafrí #womensrights pic.twitter.com/vTPFwfSoVk

— Salka Sól Eyfeld (@salkadelasol) October 24, 2016
Iceland is one of the highest-ranking countries for gender equality, according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report, but the protests show the country still has ways to go to reach true equality.

According to the report, in 170 years women worldwide will earn as much as men and account for half of the world’s bosses.

In Iceland, it will take 52 years for women to achieve pay equality, according to trends in the past decade, Iceland On Review Line reported. 

Gylfi Arnbjörnsson, president of ASÍ, the Icelandic Confederation of Labor, told RÚV that fifty years is too long to wait.

“No one puts up with waiting 50 years to reach a goal,” Gylfi stated. “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.”

Follow @MaryBowerman on Twitter. 


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