French newspaper charges men more on Women’s Day

Male readers of leftwing French daily Liberation were asked to pay 25 percent more for their paper on Thursday, to underscore the gender pay gap on International Women’s Day. (Shutterstock)
Updated 08 March 2018
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French newspaper charges men more on Women’s Day

PARIS: Male readers of leftwing French daily Liberation were asked to pay 25 percent more for their paper on Thursday, to underscore the gender pay gap on International Women’s Day.
The paper published two versions with different cover pages, one marked “for women, 2 euros, normal price” with a pictogram of a woman, the other marked “for men, 2.50 euros” with a pictogram of a man.
In a front-page message the paper noted that despite equal pay for equal work being enshrined by law since 1972, French women earn on average 25.7 percent less than men, according to a 2017 report from an inequality watchdog.
“To highlight this injustice Liberation has decided to apply the same difference to its sale price for a day, meaning 50 cents more for men,” it said, adding that profits from the operation would be donated to France’s non-governmental Equality Observatory.
Liberation said it was inspired by Canadian monthly Maclean’s, which charged men more for its March edition — also to denounce the wage gap.
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced plans to get tough on companies that pay women less.
Under a package of workplace reforms to be finalized next month, wage gap screening software will be rolled out in all companies with more than 250 employees from 2019, and in all companies with over 50 employees by 2022, Philippe said.
Companies with “unjustified” disparities will have three years to rectify the situation or face fines of up to 1 percent of their wage bill, he said.
Drawing on 2012 statistics, the Equality Observatory said last year that women earned 25.7 percent less than men.
A 2014 report by national statistics agency INSEE put the gap slightly lower, at 23.8 percent.
When adjustments for part-time work were factored in, women were still paid on average 17.4 percent less, the report found.
For the same job, women are estimated to be paid nine percent less.


Twitter blocks accounts of Iranian state media outlets

Updated 21 July 2019
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Twitter blocks accounts of Iranian state media outlets

  • Twitter said the accounts harassed people linked to the Baha’i faith
  • The Baha’i faith is a religious minority that has long faced persecution in Iran

WASHINGTON: A day after Twitter suspended the accounts of several Iranian state media outlets, the social networking service said Saturday it acted after harassment of people linked to the Baha’i faith.
Amid soaring tensions in the region, heightened by Iran’s seizure on Friday of a British-flagged tanker, some of the affected media outlets had speculated that the suspensions were related to their coverage of the seizure.
But Twitter cited what it said was the coordinated and targeted harassment of people linked to the Baha’i faith, a religious minority that has long faced persecution in Iran.
It did not name the suspended accounts, and said it was continuing to investigate the matter.
“Account suspended. Twitter suspends accounts which violate the Twitter Rules,” read English-language messages on each of the Iranian media outlets’ accounts.
Mehr news agency, which is close to moderate conservatives in Iran, said its Farsi-language account appeared to have been blocked late Friday following its reports on the seizure of the tanker Stena Impero in the strategic Strait of Hormuz.
Iran’s Revolutionary Guard said it seized the Swedish-owned tanker for breaking “international maritime rules” in the strait, a chokepoint for around a third of the world’s sea-borne oil.
Mehr’s Farsi-language Twitter page was inaccessible on Saturday, along with those of the official IRNA news agency and the agency of the Young Journalists’ Club.
“Since last night and after seizure of a British tanker in the Strait of Hormuz the account of the Young Journalists’ Club and some other users have been suspended,” the YJC said on its website.
Mehr noted that its Mehr Diplomacy account, which publishes analysis and interviews on foreign policy, was also offline.
Another account taken down belonged to Ali Akbar Raefipoor, a hard-line public speaker.
None of the owners of the suspended accounts said they had been given any reason for the move by Twitter.
The micro-blogging platform is banned in Iran, but many officials still have accounts and people access them by using a virtual private network, or VPN, to bypass censorship.