Women in Iceland have walked out of their jobs sixtimes in the last 48 years to protest the gender pay gap.

Kvennafrí 1975. Photo: Ari Kárason / Ljósmyndasafn Reykjavíkur

On October 24th, 1975, women all over Iceland left work to demonstrate the importance of women’s contribution to society. This day was popularly called “kvennafrí”, or Women’s Day Off. In 1985, 25,000 women left their work again, to protest income inequality.

In 2005, we protested on Women’s Day Off for the third time and tens of thousands of women left work the minute they stopped getting paid, at 2:08 p.m. In 2010 women in Iceland again left work, this time at 2:25 p.m. And in 2016, women left work at 2:38. In 2018, the gender pay gap adjusted for working hours was 16% in Iceland, but the gender income gap is much higher. Women left work at 2:55 p.m. that year.

More information about the women’s day off protests in Iceland is available in English at the Women’s History Museum of Iceland.