Women's Rights Day 2023: what demands?


Women's Rights Day 2023: what demands?

WOMEN'S DAY. International Women's Day is a day of awareness and mobilization on equality between men and women. What demands specific to this year 2023? What do the latest polls say ? Know everything.

[Updated March 8, 2023 at 7:27 p.m.] On International Women's Rights Day, which fell on Wednesday, March 8, 2023, demonstrations were organized in 150 cities in France to demand "equality at work and in life". . Because it must be remembered that despite the fact that gender equality has been enshrined in the Preamble to the Constitution (paragraph 3) since October 27, 1946, and that the law of December 22, 1972 establishes the principle of equal pay "for the same work or work of equal value", inequalities still exist today. On the Public Life site it is recalled that even today "women work more often part-time, more often occupy low-wage jobs and, when they manage to access higher professions, women continue to come up against a glass ceiling that prohibits them from leading positions".

Did you know that women earn on average 28.5% less than men? According to an INSEE study of June 2020, the differences in net wage income between men and women in 2017 were 30.8% (below the bac), 26.7% (bac to bac 2) and according to the diploma. 36.5% (bac 3 or more). In addition, family responsibilities are still struggling to evolve. According to an INSEE study carried out during the spring 2020 confinement, "women took on most of the domestic tasks even when they were working outside". Only 12% of fathers interrupted or reduced their professional activity in 2010 to take care of their youngest child, compared to 55% of mothers. Behaviors and mentalities still need to evolve.

Also on this strike day, the government's pension reform is accused of being unfair to women. "Those who will pay the most for this reform are the women who suffer the most from choppy careers and precarious contracts" lamented the leader of the Insoumis Jean-Luc Mélenchon during a rally in Marseille on Wednesday. The deputies of Nupes also presented this Wednesday a bill to take into account the arduousness of "feminized professions" such as those of cashier or nursing assistant who remain a "blind spot of the legislation". Their "salaries, qualifications and hardship are systematically undervalued" deplores the Insoumise MP Sarah Legrain.

A different theme is designated by the UN for each edition of "Women's Day" (WID). This Wednesday, March 8, 2023, the theme chosen was "For an inclusive digital world: innovation and technologies for gender equality".

A theme, specifies the United Nations, "associated with the priority theme of the 67th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW-67), namely "Innovation, technological change and education for the digital age to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls".

If the United Nations formalized this celebration (and its date) in 1977 and it was established in France in 1982 by President François Mitterrand, the origin of Women's Day, which became "Women's Rights Day" , is to be sought further back in time: at the time of the struggle of working women for better working conditions, and that of the suffragettes for the right to vote, i.e. in the first part of the 20th century. In 1957, the newspaper l'Humanité saluted the centenary of March 8, 1857, the day when "the garment workers of the city of New York went to parade in the streets, like men, carrying placards and banners "for better working conditions and respect for their dignity. In 1908, on June 21 this time, it was the turn of 250,000 suffragettes to demand the right to vote for women in London. A late 19th - early 20th century with a taste for emancipation that would encourage the emergence of International Women's Rights Day, decades later. The first International Women's Day took place on March 19, 1911 (in Europe and the United States) and was already advocating for more rights.

After the signing of the United Nations Charter in San Francisco in 1945 to proclaim gender equality as a fundamental right, demonstrations multiply once a year around the world for gender equality. These days are also an opportunity for assessments, particularly in figures, on the current situation. Associations of activists also take the opportunity to celebrate recent achievements as well as to voice the demands that remain on the agenda.

We might have expected a different evolution of the figures on the subject: according to a YouGov study carried out in 2021, only 64% of French people consider that women and men are equal, compared to 69% in 2015. According to the same survey, 88% of the inhabitants of France questioned believe that women and men should generally receive equal pay... versus 93% in 2015. The study also gives other figures relating to the experience of women in terms of society's perception of their strength and intelligence: when faced with the statement "Someone assumed I was weak because of my gender", 54% of women surveyed said this had happened to them, against 13% of men surveyed. 36% of women in the YouGov panel also admit that someone has already assumed that they are "less intelligent because of their gender", compared to 16% of men.

The choice of March 8 as a date dedicated to women's rights comes to us from communist Russia. In 1921, Lenin already initiated March 8 as "International Women's Day", in memory of the first demonstration to have launched the Russian Revolution, in 1917. That year, the Russian workers had decided to put themselves in strike on the last Sunday of February to demand "bread and peace". It was February 23, but in the Julian calendar... The date will become March 8 in our Gregorian calendar. It will be necessary to wait until 1977, in full sequence of détente between the Eastern and Western blocs during the Cold War, for the United Nations to adopt this day of the calendar after having hesitated between several dates, such as that of March 19, memory of the first parades in the United States in 1911.