Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

If you’ve been waiting for the right time to support our work—that time is now.

Our mission is simple: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good.

But without the support of our readers, this model does not work and we simply won’t survive. It’s that simple.
We must meet our Mid-Year Campaign goal but we need you now.

Please, support independent journalism today.

Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Without your help, we won’t survive.

A sign held up during Monday's rally for wage parity in Reykjavík, Iceland.

A sign held up during Monday's rally for wage parity in Reykjavík, Iceland. (Photo: Filmmor/Twitter)

In Iceland, Women Leave Work at 2:38pm to Protest Gender Wage Gap

Protesters say they are effectively working without pay in the afternoons, given the 14 percent wage gap

Nika Knight Beauchamp

Thousands of women across Iceland walked out of work at 2:38pm local time Monday to protest the country's gender wage gap, arguing that their lower wages mean they effectively work without pay after that point.

"No woman chooses to be oppressed," said one activist filmed in Reykjavík during the protest by the U.K.'s Channel 4 News. "No women chooses to get paid less than men."

The walk-out occurred on the 41st anniversary of Iceland's famous Women's Day Off, when 90 percent of women in Iceland stopped working—at home and on the job—to raise awareness of the role women's work plays in society.

The day, which saw women rallying in the center of Reykjavík while men scrambled to take care of children, cook, and work the lower-paying jobs that women tended to hold, was later referred to by many men as "the long Friday." It paved the way for the first election of the world's first democratically elected female president, which happened five years later, Annadis Rudolfsdottir recalled in the Guardian.

But decades later, women in Iceland still earn 14 percent less than their male counterparts. (In the U.S., women working full-time earn 20 percent less than men.) On October 24th each year, women in Iceland leave work once again and rally during what's now known as Women's Day for Equal Pay.

Refinery29 observes:

A similar event was held in 2005, when women stopped working at 2:08pm. The time from which the demonstrators stopped working has been gradually getting later each year, an indication that the pay gap has been slowly narrowing.

In 2008 they left at 2:25pm—just three minutes earlier than this year. At the current rate, it's estimated that women in Iceland [...] won't be paid the same as men until 2068.

Three minutes are added on average each year, The Reykjavík Grapevine reports.

"Gylfi Arnbjörnsson, president of the Icelandic Confederation of Labor, told the country's official national broadcaster RÚV, that for 60 years it has been illegal in Iceland to discriminate on the basis of gender," the Independent writes. "Wage contracts can take into account education level and type of job, but not whether someone is male or female."

"No one puts up with waiting 50 years to reach a goal," Arnbjörnsson told the British newspaper. "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."

A rally was held in downtown Reykjavík Monday afternoon. Participants shared photos and videos of the demonstration under the hashtag #kvennafrí ("Women's Day Off"):


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

"I'm sure this will be all over the corporate media, right?"
That’s what one longtime Common Dreams reader said yesterday after the newsroom reported on new research showing how corporate price gouging surged to a nearly 70-year high in 2021. While major broadcasters, newspapers, and other outlets continue to carry water for their corporate advertisers when they report on issues like inflation, economic inequality, and the climate emergency, our independence empowers us to provide you stories and perspectives that powerful interests don’t want you to have. But this independence is only possible because of support from readers like you. You make the difference. If our support dries up, so will we. Our crucial Mid-Year Campaign is now underway and we are in emergency mode to make sure we raise the necessary funds so that every day we can bring you the stories that corporate, for-profit outlets ignore and neglect. Please, if you can, support Common Dreams today.

 

'We Need Action': Biden, Democrats Urged to Protect Abortion Access in Post-Roe US

"The Supreme Court doesn't get the final say on abortion," Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Tina Smith wrote in a new op-ed.

Kenny Stancil ·


Motorist 'Tried to Murder' Abortion Rights Advocates at Iowa Protest, Witnesses Say

Although one witness said the driver went "out of his way" to hit pro-choice protestors in the street, Cedar Rapids police declined to make an arrest.

Kenny Stancil ·


'A Hate Crime': Oslo Pride Parade Canceled After Deadly Shooting at Gay Bar

A 42-year-old gunman has been charged with terrorism following what Norway's prime minister called a "terrible and deeply shocking attack on innocent people."

Kenny Stancil ·


'We WILL Fight Back': Outrage, Resolve as Protests Erupt Against SCOTUS Abortion Ruling

Demonstrators took to the streets Friday to defiantly denounce the Supreme Court's right-wing supermajority after it rescinded a constitutional right for the first time in U.S. history.

Brett Wilkins ·


80+ US Prosecutors Vow Not to Be Part of Criminalizing Abortion Care

"Criminalizing and prosecuting individuals who seek or provide abortion care makes a mockery of justice," says a joint statement signed by 84 elected attorneys. "Prosecutors should not be part of that."

Kenny Stancil ·

Common Dreams Logo