Women’s rights activists in France urged women to leave work at 4:34 p.m. on Monday to make a statement against wage disparity, the BBC reports.
The feminist group Les Glorieuses calculated that this particular moment marks the time that women stop being paid for the year 2016, due to the pay gap in France. In other words, women must work 38.2 more days per year than men to earn the same salary.
“If women were paid as much as men, they could stop working on November 7 at 16.34,” Les Glorieuses wrote in their newsletter, according to The Guardian. “This difference in salaries hides other inequalities. Women also do unpaid work, like household tasks.”
Women in France make up 48 percent of the country’s workforce, but men earn about 15 percent more than their female counterparts, according to a 2014 report by Eurostat. A report by the World Economic Forum found that the international pay gap will not be closed until 2186.
Many women left their offices when the clock struck 4:34, and photos of protests around the country began to surface on Twitter. Users posted images of women carrying signs and marching in the streets under the hashtag #16H34.
— Julien Bayou (@julienbayou) November 7, 2016
— Olivier Clairouin (@OClairouin) November 7, 2016
— Jennifer Padjemi (@jenniferpadjemi) November 7, 2016
Laurence Rossignol, France’s women’s rights minister, has expressed her support for the protest. She said she did not mind if women in her office decide to walk out of work early. “When women protest, they make visible what is invisible,” she told Le Parisien. “I support them.”
The movement echoes a similar protest in Iceland last month. On October 24, thousands of women left work at 2:38 p.m. to demonstrate the country’s 14 percent wage gap.