Australian women walk out of work early, protesting gender pay gap

Fi Bendall (center) with protesters taking part in the #WalkOutOz rally in Sydney on December 05, 2018.

(CNN)A small but poignant protest was held in Sydney Wednesday in which women -- and some men -- left work early to demand pay equality, echoing similar protests around the world this year.

The protest, organized by a network of women under the campaign #WalkOutOz, saw about 100 people in Sydney leave their places of work at 3:50 p.m., the time organizers say is when women technically stop getting paid for their work every day, compared with men.
"We're supposed to be a country that believes in giving everyone a fair go," said Fi Bendall, CEO of The Female Social Network and #WalkOutOz spokesperson, told CNN in an interview. "It's about changing the way people think and understanding that all we are asking for is fairness. This is about us all walking together because this is the right thing for society."
    Discrimination based on gender is already illegal in many countries, but research shows the legislation is far from effective. Women are paid less than men in every country in the world, according to research by the World Economic Forum.
      Australian women earn on average about 84 cents for every dollar that men earn, according to government figures. That means men working full-time earn nearly 27,000 Australian dollars ($21,000) a year more on average than full-time women employees, according to Australia's Workplace Gender Equality Agency.