French Women Are Working For Free Until The End Of The Year
According to a study by Les Glorieuses, a French feminist collective, women in France will work for no pay from November 3rd until the end of the year. That’s a 40-day gender pay gap protest. The issue is there is a 15.8 percent gross hourly wage difference between French men and women. Pay gap protests are not new in France or in other countries. In 2016, women around the country held several demonstrations to draw attention to their cause. The inequality message is getting out, but it’s a slow process, according to the Les Glorieuses study. Last year’s campaign was a success, according to French24.com, thanks to social network campaigns as well as a Les Glorieuses petition that promotes change and pay equality.
Les Glorieuses uses several strategies to address the pay issue. The collective asks companies to be more transparent when it comes to divulging their pay scale for men and women. And Les Glorieuses also wants the government to issue an “equality certificate” that would introduce maternity and paternity leaves, as well as, a certificate that stresses equal pay for women who perform the same job as men. According to the Concorde Foundation, wage parity would generate 61.8 billion euros for the French economy.
But French women are not alone when it comes to pay parity. Significant wage gaps still exist in the United States even though there has been a narrowing of the pay gap at the middle and the bottom of the wage distribution chart. In 2015, faster low-wage growth was the result of states increasing their minimum wage laws. But there are still ethnic and racial wage gaps, especially at the top of the pay distribution network.
The women in France are making progress, but not at the pace they want. According to a report from the World Economic Forum, full gender parity will not be a reality in France until 2234. Les Glorieuses is on a mission to bring about pay parity in the next decade. The collective thinks fining companies that do not respect pay equality will help bring about change faster. And if President Macron gets involved, the mission to pay women who do the same job as men will happen even faster, according to the women participating in the French protest.
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