|To protest against unequal pay, Annelie Nordström, President of Sweden’s largest trade union Kommunal, temporarily became a man|
To celebrate International Women’s Day today, I wanted to look at positive examples of gender equality, so I looked at Scandinavian countries – and Sweden in particular, which is considered one of the most equal countries in the world.
I was surprised to find out that even there, the gap between men's and women’s salaries has hardly changed at all for the past thirty years. At the current pace, it will take more than a century to reach equal pay.
To protest against this, Annelie Nordström, President of Sweden’s largest trade union Kommunal, temporarily became a man. She wanted to highlight the absurd fact that the easiest way for a woman to get a raise is to become a man. She is asking women across the globe to join her in the campaign Be a Man. The international initiative aims to become the world’s largest protest against unequal pay, starting today, on The International Women’s Day (March 8th).
You can watch a video of her transformation here.When it comes to wages, Sweden is among the world’s most equal countries. According to The Global Gender Gap Report, published by the World Economic Forum, the country is placed fourth, globally. However, Swedish women earn only 82 % of what the nation’s men do. Measured in time, men only need to work until 3:52 PM, whilst a woman has to work until 5 PM to earn the same amount. At the current pace, it will take more than a century before men and women earn the same amount of money for the same work. ”It’s sad that Sweden is considered to be a global example of equal pay, given how far we have left to go,” says Nordström.
And if that is the situation in equal Sweden, how much further women in less equal countries will have to go…
By using either a smartphone app or visiting the Be a Man website, women from around the globe can create a male version of any photo of themselves. The image is then shared in social media on The International Women’s Day, creating the largest protest against inequality ever.
Come on, have a go!