Tuesday, December 27, 2016

The Women of Iceland

Every October 24th, the women of Iceland leave work early.  Not to go shopping or to get ready for a party or even to attend their kids' soccer games, but to protest wage inequality.

This started way back in 1975 (even I was young then), when the average Icelandic woman working outside of the home made less than 60%  of what a man made.  Of course the women working at home made nada, nichts, nothing.

Here's where the story gets interesting.  Instead of sticking with the status quo, the women of Iceland

went on strike

That's right.  They went on strike and not just a few, not just 50%, not even 75%.  No, my friends,


of the women of Iceland went on strike that first year.

By the next year, the parliament passed a law guaranteeing equal wages for women.  Five years later, in 1980, Iceland elected Vigdis Finnbogadottir, the first woman elected to head a democracy in the world.

Don't believe me?  Here. Or here.

While wages are still unequal in Iceland, there has been improvement since 1975. In 2015, the women of Iceland left work at 2:38 pm.  Why?  Because after 2:38 pm, they are working for free, when their wages are compared to men's wages.  In 2005 they had to walk out at 2:08 pm.

Why am I giving you this history lesson?

To inspire you to take part in the upcoming Million Women March on Saturday, January 21, 2017.  While the main march is planned for Washington, DC, there will be marches held in many cities throughout the country.  Check Facebook for more information and if you can't find any for your area, let me know.  I'll help you.

There are 157,000,000 women in America (there are only 151,000,000 men).  90% of 157,000,000 is 141,300,000.  Do I expect 141,300,000 women to march on January 21?  No, I don't.  But I do dream about it.  I envision the possibilities.  I envision what a statement we can all make together. Because if we all showed up, we could be like the women of Iceland.

I think that would be a good way to start 2017.

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