Staff at some of Paris’s most high-profile political and cultural offices stopped work at 4.34pm on Monday in solidarity with a protest against women being paid less than men.
Women’s rights campaigners at the feminist newsletter Les Glorieuses had urged female workers to down tools from that time. They suggested that doing so until the end of the year – in effect taking 38.2 days off – would highlight the global wage disparity that experts say will not disappear until 2186.
“From 7 November at 16.34 [and seven seconds] women will be working ‘voluntarily’,” Les Glorieuses wrote, referencing research that women work for free, compared with men, for a certain time of the year.
The activists had not intended to spark demonstrations with their call to protest, which reached 2 million people through the social media service Thunderclap.