Saint Rita: Embracing Summer’s Lost Causes

Jagged professional equality, constitutionalization of the right to abortion pending, protection of minors called into question… In the first half of 2023, the major causes of the five-year term are somewhat lost.

While the editorial staff of Nouvelles News is preparing to take a vacation, joy is not really on the agenda when you look at the news with a feminist eye. Saint Rita of the great lost causes of the quinquenniums must not be unemployed! The promised bill to constitutionalize the right to abortion has not been tabled, the law for the protection of minors has been called into question, France has just weakened a European law to combat violence against women, the cabinet reshuffle raises concerns…

If the President of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron, has made gender equality the great cause of his five-year term for the second time, consistency is not really there on this subject. The ministerial reshuffle saw the departure of a Minister in charge of Women’s Rights, Isabelle Lonvis-Rome, very popular with actors in the field, to the point that feminist associations and networks had launched an appeal to keep her in government on the eve of the reshuffle…

Bérangère Couillard, who succeeds him in this position, knows the subject very well too and seems much closer to the circle of the president’s faithful. An early walker, she had been equality referent for LREM and president of a study group “Entrepreneurship for women. Then, as a deputy and member of the Delegation for Women’s Rights, she fought for the law for the protection of victims and for the extension of abortion times in particular. She had invested a lot during the Grenelle of domestic violence with Marlène Schiappa, former minister in charge of women’s rights who had to leave the government despite her loyalty to the President of the Republic, because of the affair of the Marianne fund. Marlène Schiappa did not appreciate the words of Isabelle Lonvis-Rome at the time of the Playboy affair.

Will Bérangère Couillard manage to enforce the government’s commitment to table a “constitutional bill” to protect the right to abortion? The question is crucial, we explain here why a bill is needed to protect this right. But the government is dragging.

Another worrying sign of this reshuffle, Pap Ndiaye, who denounced the extreme right-winging of the media, has left the government. He had been the target of unspeakable attacks after having shown his support for the editorial staff of the JDD without benefiting from government solidarity. However, when far-right ideas make progress in the media, it is very bad for equality between women and men.

Among the news (or non-news) of this first half of 2023, France is also very slowly hurrying on the fight against gender-based and sexual violence (SGBV). She has just shown herself to be a bad student again in Europe.

Another worrying symptom: its judicial system is singled out by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), which accuses it of adding misfortune to the misfortune of victims of SGBV by practicing “secondary victimization”, that is to say by treating the victims as if they were guilty of the facts they denounce. The commitment, made after the Grenelle of violence, to better train magistrates and police officers on GBV has not yet borne fruit.

And that’s not all, lawyers defending a man who forced sex on a 14-year-old minor wanted to have the law for the protection of minors declared unconstitutional. Fortunately, they failed!

Another good news this end of the semester made it possible to say that all was not lost for feminism: the Nice bookshop which had been covered in black by the police, during the visit of Gérald Darmanin, obtained a condemnation from the State for “attack on freedom of expression. »

A condemnation obtained after a hard fight, like everything that can reduce ambient sexism. A work of Sisyphus!

We invite you to (re)read these fights of Sisyphus during this summer break.

Our Politics and Society section, of course, but also our Noises and Whispers section, which recalls the strength of stereotypes in the narrative of the news (read in particular: a mother of riots and men)

Our economic/social section also shows the weight of stereotypes in professional inequalities. A recent study invites us to fight not just against “women’s self-censorship” but against the system that produces this self-censorship. (Read: Diversity at the top: transforming women or transforming the exercise of power?)

Champion of all categories of gender inequalities: sport

Our Culture section unearths works that are too discreet elsewhere.

We are devoting more and more articles to these many women who defend the planet… a work of Sisyphus too!

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