Women workers in France urged to down tools at 11.44

Women workers in France urged to down tools at 11.44
Woman demonstrating at equal pay protest in 2016. Photo: The Local
Women across France were encouraged to leave work at 11.44am on November 3rd as part of a campaign highlighting the salary gap between male and female staff.
French feminist collective Les Glorieuses have re-launched their campaign to denounce the wage disparity between the sexes. 
According to the latest figures from data agency Eurostat (based on 2015 salaries), women are effectively working for free for the last 39.7 days of the year as a result of the 15 percent wage disparity. 
And the equal rights group is urging women workers in France to take a stand by leaving work at 11.44 on November 3rd.
“If there was equal pay in France, women would be able to stop work on Friday November 3rd at 11.44 and earn the same amount (as men) in 2017,” said the equal rights group.
And the hashtag #3novembre11h44 was trending in France on Friday. 


But the wage gap doesn't look set to close any time soon. 

In 2016 the group used the latest figures then available (2010) to work out the cut off point and it came on November 7th
This means the situation has got worse in the intervening five-year period, said Rebecca Amsellem, founder of Les Glorieuses, according to a report in BFM TV.
“Last year, our campaign had a strong impact on public opinion, and it felt like people were becoming aware of the inequality,” she added. 
The group hopes that this year's campaign will have even more of an impact, raising awareness at a corporate and political level. 
So far at least one politician has taken note, with the secretary of state for equality Marlène Schiappa planning to meet the group behind the campaign. 
“We want to make concrete progress, something more effective than the current system, which fines companies that do not respect equal pay,” said Amsellem.
Ideally the group would like there to be greater transparency over salaries, with companies publishing what they pay their staff. 
However they aren't only concerned with equality for women, Les Glorieuses also campaigns for fathers to be entitled to the same leave when their child is born.