Why thousands of women in Iceland walked off the job at 2:38 p.m.

For thousands of women in Iceland on Monday, fighting for equal rights meant ditching out on work early.

Women across the country powered down their smartphones, closed their laptops, and canceled meetings at 2:38 p.m. to protest the gender pay gap, according to an Iceland Review report.

Why 2:38? The protestors didn't just choose a random time.

Women in Iceland make roughly 18% less than their male counterparts, according to the latest European Union data. Which is good, compared to a lot of other countries — including the United States (which ranks 28th on the World Economic Forum's Gender Gap Report; Iceland is first). But still pretty unfair.


Unless, of course, their work day was 18% shorter. Which means they'd get out at 2:38 p.m.

This isn't the first time women in Iceland have gone on strike.

❕❕❕

A photo posted by Áslaug Lárusdóttir (@aslauglar_) on

In 1975, labor unions and women's rights organizations in the country organized the first Women's Day Off. According to a BBC report, 90% of women in the country participated, including domestic workers and stay-at-home mothers. The strike paralyzed the country, forcing many men to take their children into the office.

"Probably most people underestimated this day's impact at that time — later both men and women began to realise that it was a watershed," Styrmir Gunnarsson, a former newspaper editor, told the BBC.

Iceland's (and Europe's) first female president, Vigdis Finnbogadottir, who joined that first protest 40 years ago, believes the mass demonstration helped pave the way for her election five years later.

This 2016 protest is the fourth time Iceland's women have gone on strike — and the time of the walkout has gotten progressively later with each one as women's relative wages have increased.

In 2005, protestors walked off the job at 2:08 p.m. In 2008, they left at 2:25.

Frelsi og feminismi. Við systurnar viljum jafnrétti núna STRAX!

A photo posted by Dóra Júlía Agnarsdóttir (@dorajulia) on

But 2:38 p.m. is still not late enough!

At that rate, the wage gap in Iceland will take more than 50 years to close on its own. A WEF report estimates that the global wage gap may take as long as 118 years to sew up. But if the first protest changed the way the country values women's labor, then perhaps the pressure from more massive events can speed up the clock.

Women of Iceland are gathering at Austurvöllur today to protest against the gender wage gap #kvennafrí

A photo posted by Reykjavik Grapevine (@rvkgrapevine) on

Perhaps on a Women's Day Off not too long in the future, they'll be skipping out at the end of the day with their male colleagues.

Hopefully happy hour will still be running.

More
via Stratford Festival / Twitter

Service dogs are invaluable to their owners because they are able to help in so many different ways.

They're trained to retrieve dropped Items, open and close doors, help their owners remove their clothes, transport medications, navigate busy areas such as airports, provide visual assistance, and even give psychological help.

The service dog trainers at K-9 Country Inn Working Service Dogs in Canada want those who require service dogs to live the fullest life possible, so they're training dogs on how to attend a theatrical performance.

The adorable photos of the dogs made their way to social media where they quickly went viral.

On August 15, a dozen dogs from Golden Retrievers to poodles, were treated to a performance of "Billy Elliott" at the Stratford Festival in Ontario, Canada. This was a special "relaxed performance" featuring quieter sound effects and lighting, designed for those with sensory issues.

RELATED: This service dog and veteran are raising awareness for PTSD in inspiring ways

"It's important to prepare the dogs for any activity the handler may like to attend," Laura Mackenzie, owner and head trainer at K-9 Country Inn Working Service Dogs, told CBC.

"The theater gives us the opportunity to expose the dogs to different stimuli such as lights, loud noises, and movement of varying degrees," she continued. "The dogs must remain relaxed in tight quarters for an extended period of time."

The dogs got to enjoy the show from their own seats and took a break with everyone else during intermission. They were able to familiarize themselves with the theater experience so they know how to navigate through crowds and fit into tight bathroom stalls.

via Stratford Festival / Twitter


via Stratford Festival / Twitter


via Stratford Festival / Twitter

"About a dozen dogs came to our relaxed performance, and they were all extremely well-behaved," says Stratford Festival spokesperson Ann Swerdfager. "I was in the lobby when they came in, then they took their seats, then got out of their seats at intermission and went back — all of the things we learn as humans when we start going to the theater."

RELATED: This sneaky guide dog is too pure for this world. A hilarious video proves it.

The dogs' great performance at the trial run means that people who require service animals can have the freedom to enjoy special experiences like going to the theater.

"It's wonderful that going to the theater is considered one of the things that you want to train a service dog for, rather than thinking that theater is out of reach for people who require a service animal, because it isn't," Swerdfager said.

The Stratford Festival runs through Nov. 10 and features productions of "The Merry Wives of Windsor," "The Neverending Story," "Othello," "Billy Elliot," "Little Shop of Horrors," "The Crucible" and more.

Inclusivity

15 'habits' of people who grew up with an 'emotionally fragile' parent

Having an emotionally fragile parent can leave lasting damage.

via The Mighty

If you grew up with an "emotionally fragile" parent, chances are, you didn't have the typical, idyllic childhood you often see in movies.

Maybe your parent lived with debilitating depression that thrust you into the role of caregiver from a very young age.

Maybe your parent was always teetering on the edge of absolute rage, so you learned to tiptoe around them to avoid an explosion. Or maybe your parent went through a divorce or separation, and leaned on you for more emotional support than was appropriate to expect of a child.

Keep Reading Show less
Family
Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Unsplash

Jasmine has been used as a natural treatment for depression, anxiety, and stress for thousands of years. Oil from the plant has also been used to treat insomnia and PMS, and is considered a natural aphrodisiac. It turns out, our ancestor's instincts to slather on the oil when they wanted a little R&R were correct.

A study, published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, and according to Professor Hanns Hatt of the Ruhr University in Bochum, Germany, revealed that jasmine can calm you down when you're feeling anxious.The results can "be seen as evidence of a scientific basis for aromatherapy."

"Instead of a sleeping pill or a mood enhancer, a nose full of jasmine from Gardenia jasminoides could also help, according to researchers in Germany. They have discovered that the two fragrances Vertacetal-coeur (VC) and the chemical variation (PI24513) have the same molecular mechanism of action and are as strong as the commonly prescribed barbiturates or propofol," says the study.

Keep Reading Show less
Nature