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Gender pay gap: Women in France work ‘for free’ from today

EU statistics suggest that on average women earn 15.8% less than men. Feminist newsletter Les Glorieuses launches petition for change

Women in France start working ‘for free’ from today because of the gender pay gap, a feminist newsletter has stated Pic: fizkes / Shutterstock

Women who work in France do so ‘for free’ until the end of the year from 09:10 this morning (November 4) because of the gender pay gap, according to feminist newsletter Les Glorieuses. 

This time and date have been calculated using EU statistics, which suggest that on average, women in France earn 15.8% less than men.

In the EU as a whole, the difference is 13% on average.

However, the gap has shrunk slightly in comparison to last year, when women began working ‘for free’ on November 3 at 09:22 and the gender pay gap was 16.5%. 

France’s gender pay gap is also smaller than that of countries including Germany (18.3%), Switzerland (18.4%) and Austria (18.9%).

Les Glorieuses has launched a petition under the hashtag #4Novembre9h10, calling for three new policies promoting pay parity, including increases to the salaries associated with classically ‘feminised’ occupations such as teaching and healthcare. 

“Jobs in healthcare and education, which are very much feminised and which have been crucial over the last three years in France, are among the least valued jobs in terms of salaries,” the newsletter states. 

Les Glorieuses’ petition is also calling for a revision of the way in which maternity and paternity leave work in France. 

“The idea would be to take inspiration from Swedish law, to offer leave to be split between two parents, with a minimum number of days reserved for fathers,” and paid in the same way, Les Glorieuses founder Rebecca Amsellem told AFP.

Finally, the newsletter wants business access to government loans and grants to be conditioned upon the extent to which they “respect pay parity”, so that “budgets allocated through public spending do not accentuate inequalities.” 

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