French women to walk out of work in protest at gender pay gap

A feminist group has calculated that women are essentially working for free - for the rest of the year - from 4:34pm on November 7th

A feminist group in France is organising a walk-out protest against income inequality in the workplace.

Women in France earn around 15.1% less than men, according to the latest data from EU statistics agency Eurostat.

Les Glorieuses, a weekly feminist newsletter in France has used the data to calculate that women are essentially working for free - for the rest of the year - after 4:34pm on November 7th.

The group has called on women across the country to walk out of their jobs precisely 7.5 seconds after the clock hits 4:34pm on the day to draw attention to the problem.

The campaign follows a similar protest staged in Iceland which saw women walking out of work on the 24 October.

Ireland is currently ranked as the sixth most gender equal country in the world - based on health, education, economy and politics.

However, the Eurostat figures show that in purely economic terms - Irish men still earn 13.9% more than their female colleagues.

A recent report from the World Economic Forum warned that it could take up to 170 years to close the global gender pay gap.

A statement on the Les Glorieuses website called on “women, men, unions and feminist organisations to join the movement.”

They are encouraging other groups to hold their own events and protests in order to make income inequality a “central political problem.”

“By tackling this subject, we’re showing that the gender pay gap is not just a ‘woman’s issue,’” said the statement.

“We make up around 52 percent of the overall [French] population ... We don’t want to wait until 2186 for equal salaries. We don’t want to wait 170 years for this parity.”

The Facebook page for the walkout entitled #7NOVEMBRE16H34 currently has 2,800 people listed as taking part while an online petition has 2,454 signatures.