Thousands of women in France walk out of work to protest gender pay gap

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Photo via BernardaSv/Getty Images (Licensed)

If men make 15 percent more, why can't women take the rest of the year off?

Women in France walked out of work at 4:34pm UTC on Monday to protest the country's gender pay gap. 

By leaving Monday afternoon—and then ostensibly planning to take the rest of the year's 38.2 work days off—organizers Les Glorieuses hoped to highlight the global wage disparity between genders, which isn't supposed to equalize until 2186, according to a World Economic Forum report. In France, even though men and women make up nearly the same percentage of the workforce, men’s salaries are about 15 percent higher.

Les Glorieuses co-founder Rebecca Amsellem told La Parisienne that she was inspired by a similar movement in Iceland a few weeks ago, which resulted in thousands of women walking out of their jobs and into the streets. “We’re not a group or a political movement," Amsellem said. "I just wanted to raise awareness on the social networks by copying the Icelandic example. I never thought it would take off as it has.”

The group has garnered support from Education Minister Najat Belkacem, Women's Rights Minister Laurence Rossignol, and Osez le Féminisme (Dare to be Feminist), according to the Guardian. On the Les Glorieuses Facebook event page, where more than 5,300 people said they were "going" to the walkout, women are posting photos in solidarity.

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