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New opportunities for women in France: The case of Ségolène Royal

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  1. Introduction.
  2. Family and equality at work and at home.
    1. Evolution thanks to new fields of research.
    2. Women and work.
  3. Parity: Is it the sign of a crisis of democracy?
  4. the impact of the French Revolution.
    1. Before the declaration.
    2. After the declaration.
  5. Current divergent opinions about parity.
    1. Elisabeth Badinter's distortion of the feminist points of view.
    2. The trigger of the parity law.
    3. The concept of 'feminism'.
    4. The second edition of the Women's forum.
  6. Segolene Royal, a model to fellow?
  7. Conclusion.
  8. Bibliography.

Throughout the history of France, it seems that women have always appeared to be inferior to men, at least since the settling process in the Gallic period. The dominant religion, Catholicism, has intensified this state of mind as it considers God as superior to men, and men that are superior to women. Thus, the presupposed inferiority of women is not a new issue. However, a turning point might be the French Revolution in 1789, as a Constitution was written, creating concepts of ?liberty, equality, and fraternity? in the French society. We will see why this attempt to universalism sets women apart and how women struggled to balance men's power. The climax of this evolution might be reached soon, as a woman is running for the supreme power: to become the next president of the French Republic. In a first part, we will see the family and equality at work and at home; then, we will question the concept of parity. In a third part, we will analyse the impat of the French revolution. In a fourth part, we will study current divergent opinions about parity. In a last part, we will examine the case of Ségolène Royal, and see if she is an example to follow.

[...] In it, Anne-Marie Colmou, in charge of this report, whose function was to be responsible of the requests for the Council of State, pointed out that the State needed the genious of women to reform. Maybe, it is the time for the feminine ingeniosity to reveal all its advantages through the person of Segolene Royal. Conclusion To gain rights, woman's struggle has been long and full of expectancies. Equal opportunities should mostly benefit women who have responsibilities within companies or in politics as this is where the difference of wages is the most salient. [...]

[...] The law that was passed in 2001 was supposed to fix inequalities as far as politics are concerned, but at the same time, it was given as a model for companies, when human resources had to recruit new personnel. The Parity law attributes a certain quota to women to achieve gender equality at all the political levels. In fact, parity can be defined as the sign of a crisis of democracy or as a crisis or representation. Indeed, Scott (2005, 12) explains that there was no law that prevented women from being representatives, but there is an almost ?tacit agreement? concluded from males who did not want to make way for women. [...]

[...] This radical position that provided the roots of feminist movements in the sixties and seventies seems less relevant today even if it cannot be said that the fight for equality between men and women has achieved all its goals. The struggle can go on without denying the difference between the sexes, difference that refers to a problem of identity. A particular field in which there is still supremacy in the hierarchical conception of the relations man-women - when it is not a question of a vulgar misogyny- is politics. [...]

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