France on course to close its gender pay gap – by 2234

France on course to close its gender pay gap - by 2234
Photo: Damien Meyer/AFP
If present trends continue, France will not close its gender pay gap until 2234, according to new research from a feminist group, published on the day when French women begin working for 'free'.

Wednesday, November 3rd at 9.22am marked the moment when French women begin working ‘for free’ until the end of the year – the symbol of the gap between wages for men and women.

And the gap is actually widening, according to research by feminist group Les Glorieuses. Economist and group founder Rebecca Amsellem told France Inter “at this rate, we’ll obtain equality in 2234”.

According to Eurostat, the gender pay gap in France went from 15.6 percent in 2015 to 16.5 percent in 2021, despite several measures implemented by the French government. 

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In 2019 for instance, Equalities minister Marlène Schiappa and Labour minister Muriel Pénicaud implemented the index Egapro. Firms with at least 50 workers are now compelled to calculate and publish their gender pay gap. 

Unequal pay “reaches all women in all business sectors,” said Amsellem. “Gender pay gaps are the highest in well-paid jobs, but women are hit no matter the area”. 

“With the same job and the same experience, women are less paid than men. It’s a pay gap of about 10 percent,” Amsellem told France Inter. 

This year, women in France will be working for free from November 3rd at 9:22 a.m. until the end of 2021. 

Les Glorieuses have created the hashtag #3Novembre9h22 and a petition. 

A few months away from the 2022 Presidential elections, the group is also calling out to candidates from all parties for propositions in favour of equal pay. 

Les Glorieuses have three main propositions to reduce the gender pay gap in France:  the creation of a shared parental leave, a pay rise in sectors where women are the most numerous,  and the application of the principle of “equalconditionality” with the creation of an equal pay certificate. This means that firms will only have access to a public contracts, public subsidies or a loan from the state if they apply equal pay for equal work.

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