French Feminist Group: Women Losing Forty Days of Pay

French Feminist Group

According to a feminist group, French women will be effectively working for free starting on November 3 at 11:44 am, and continuing until the end of the year.

The group, a collective called Les Glorieuses, are referring to what they say is the widening pay gap between men and women in the country. They are planning various actions and protests, both through social media and in public, to mark the occasion.

Their information is based on Eurostat data. According to the study, in 2015 the average French woman had a 15.8 percent lower gross hourly wage than the average French man. If one calculates that percent over the course of a year, that would mean that they are losing the equivalent of pay for 39.7 days.

So, metaphorically, it means that the forty or so days of the year are gratis.

This data is new, though Les Glorieuses' work on the issue is not; they organized protests and other actions last year too, except in that case the date chosen was November 7, 2016, at 4:04 pm.

“Last year, we drew our statistics from the latest Eurostat figures available, which were based on salaries in 2010,” said Rebecca Amsellem, the founder of Les Glorieuses, to FRANCE 24.

“We cannot say that this drop happened in one year—rather, it happened over five," she explained.

In a discussion with the French TV channel BFM Business she said that her group has been getting the impression that many young people were not aware that this inequality existed. They want to continue to get the word out there with more campaigns in 2017.

Les Glorieuses has several balls in the air, trying to get their information out there and make people care. They are pushing a hashtag #3novembre11h44 on social media, along with various pictures that can be shared. The collective also has a petition going around and are hoping for more strikes such as those that occurred last year.

They also are asking companies to be more open and transparent about how much they pay both men and women, want equal levels of maternity and paternity leave, and want the government to issue an "Equality Certificate" in order to rate business' compliance.

Amsellem says that “We want concrete progress that’s more efficient than the current system and that would consist of fining companies that fail to respect pay equality."

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