October 24, 2005

A women's day off

I work part time for a company called "The handknitting association of Iceland". The entire staff consists of women, including the manager, all the ladies who knit the sweaters, hats, socks etc (all 2000 of them), as well as all the store workers and knitting/wool experts. In a way, one could say that my workplace 'lacks gender equality', since there simply are no males working there.
Today is a special day in Iceland, namely "Women's day off". The plan is that all the working women in Iceland (meaning pretty much all women, since the concept of a 'housewife' is practically unknown here), should walk out of their work places at exactly 14:08 in the afternoon. I asked my boss, Baldrun, if she's planning to walk out, and got the following reply:

Well I've interpreted "walk out" in the way that I should step out through the door and stand outside the shop. At first I thought I should do so. But then I thought to myself that if I do, everyone will see that I'm here working. So I decided I'll just stay inside, and keep my mouth shut about it.

Women´s day off October 24th
On October 24th, women will stop working at 14:08 and fill Reykjavik´s city centre to protest the difference in women´s and men´s salaries. "Why Women’s day off? Because:

….women earn only 64,15% of what men do
....women’s salaries are only 72% of men’s for equal working hours
….having children has a negative impact on women’s salaries but a positive one on men’s
....many women are insecure and endure threats of violence in their homes
....one of every three women experiences gender based violence during her lifetime
....women do not enjoy success in equal proportion to their education
…women entrepreneurs have less access to finances than men
….women bear the main responsibility for child care and domestic duties
....care taker jobs are among the lowest paid on the labour market
....women have a lower profile in the media
....a woman’s body is regarded as a commodity
....no woman has ever been a prime minister, a bank manager or a bishop
....women have never been 50% of parliament members
....women do not enjoy equal rights with men

I suppose the part about the prime minister refers to Iceland only, since the world has certainly had female prime ministers, as you can see in this List of Female Prime

Here you can see that Israel's Golda Meir was the world's 3rd female prime minister.
The world has also seen Female Presidents, where Iceland's Vigdis Finnbogadottir became the world's first democratically elected female president in 1980.

Posted by Maria at October 24, 2005 03:34 PM | TrackBacks
Comments & Trackbacks

Hey girl!

Why are there no house wives?

Posted by: Alice at October 27, 2005 12:07 AM Permalink

I'm really disappointed! I thought Iceland and all Scandinavian countries have more equality between the sexes.

Why on earth 14:08?

Posted by: Orly at October 30, 2005 03:56 PM Permalink

Alice: most families here can't afford having only one provider

Orly: there is less gender inequality in Scandinavia (and Canada) than other countries, but women are oppressed everywhere. There's no such thing as a society where women make even close to what men make, unfortunately. I won't write more for now. I just got out of a class in 'Gender Studies' and I'm really annoyed, so I might get carried away :)

Posted by: Maria at October 31, 2005 06:44 PM Permalink

And how many men were in that class??

Posted by: Orly at November 1, 2005 06:25 PM Permalink