The women in Iceland have stopped working after 2:38 pm, as a mark of protest against gender pay gap in the country. According to the latest report by World Economic Forum, the estimated annual income of women there country is USD 36,817 as compared to USD 51,143 earned by men. It is another surprising fact that the country tops the list in gender gap index. According to the country’s labour laws, women get 14-18% less paid than their male counterparts.
However, the report states that it will take another 52 years for women in Iceland to get paid equally as compared to men. Despite being the best country for gender equality, it still has a lot to do in this field.
The strike reminds us of a similar protest undertaken by the women in 1975 when they went on a strike on same issue. Then, they used to earn 40 per cent less than men. The next year, the Iceland Parliament passed a law guaranteeing equal rights for both men and women.
The report also said that it would take another 170 years for men and women across the world to be paid equally. It mentioned that several factors including health and economics pose a major gap between men and women.
India, is placed at 87th spot out of 144 countries, which means that the journey is far ahead. The report says that women here earn USD 2,103 (Rs 1.40 lakh) as compared to USD 9,045 (Rs 6.04 lakh) earned by the opposite sex. India is placed at 87th rank among 144 countries in terms of global gender index. However, the situation has improved in the past ten years. According to the report published in 2006, India was placed at 98th spot. Besides this, the WEF report stated that the widest gender gap worldwide was witnessed in terms of political empowerment.
India’s neighbour Pakistan fares poorly when it comes to paying women and men. On an average, a woman there makes a meagre USD 1,745 (Rs 1.16 lakh) as compared to USD 7,714 (Rs5.16 lakh). Even superpowers like China, UK and United States do not pay their women at par with the male counterparts.
China is placed at the 99th spot in the global gender index, 36 spots lower than the 2006 data. The estimated annual income is USD 16,177 for men and USD 10,049 for women.
Similarly, Japan is placed at 111th spot, as per the World Economic Forum report. Ten years ago, it was placed at 80th spot.
The situation in Pakistan is pitiable as the country is dubiously placed at 143rd spot in the global gender index, down from the 112th spot a decade ago.
Meanwhile, United States too grapples with the gender pay gap as well. The superpower stands at 45th spot, much lower than the 23rd position it enjoyed in 2006.