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.


Despite setbacks, Arab summit at media forefront

Updated 20 January 2019
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Despite setbacks, Arab summit at media forefront

  • Japanese journalist says they have to cover the summit because the Mideast region is too important for Japan
  • TV, print and radio journalists were given the necessary equipment and space to allow constant reporting of the summit’s opening remarks

BEIRUT: Journalists from across the world gathered in Lebanon’s Beirut Waterfront to cover the Arab Economic and Social Development Summit on Sunday despite the tumultuous days leading up to the event.

It was not just Arab and Middle Eastern journalists who were present at the summit’s official media center; reporters from Japan, Europe and the US were also in attendance. 

There were conflicting reports on the number of journalists attending, ranging from 600 to double that. The summit’s official spokesman Dany Najim said 1,200 journalists covered the event. 

In addition to journalists working with news organizations and institutions were those traveling as part of country delegations. 

The Arab League sent 11 journalists, while official numbers put an average of 10 journalists per delegation. 

“We must cover the summit. The region is very important to us. It’s where we buy oil and gas,” said a Japanese journalist.

TV, print and radio journalists were given the necessary equipment and space to allow constant reporting of the summit’s opening remarks. While they were placed in a hall adjacent to the main summit meeting room, two large screens were continuously airing the summit’s activities and talks.

Rigid security protocols were in place for the safety of attending delegations. Roads starting from Beirut’s Phoenicia Hotel in Minet Al-Hosn district all the way to Al-Nahar newspaper’s offices in Martyrs’ Square were closed as part of a security zone. 

Transportation of journalists was organized by the summit, where a bus was available round the clock to pick them up and take them to the Monroe Hotel — the media hub for the summit — in Minet Al-Hosn, before taking another bus to the Beirut Waterfront.

Several stores and restaurants were forced to shut for the days of the summit, while some issued mass text messages to the public to announce that they will stay open.

This is the fourth Arab Economic and Social Development Summit. The previous ones were hosted by Kuwait in 2009, Egypt in 2011, and Saudi Arabia in 2013.