This paper has been published in the French Huffngton Post, March 2th, 2014
Politics: A women matter?
On March 23rd and 30th, 2014, the next municipal elections will take place in all of France. In Paris, two women, Anne Hidalgo (PS) and Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet (UMP) will compete to become the mayor of Paris. Having two women in the final election-round for Paris – the leading European economic metropolis and capital of the world's 5th economic power - is a new political configuration in the history of our Republic. Will this election have symbolic significance and will it be sufficient to break the patriarchal grip that, since the Salic law, keeps women out of power, making improbable any idea of equality and equity in our society?
The resistance of the patriarchy
Nothing is certain. Despite significant advances, such as the employment rate of women (according to the Insee, 80% of women in work in 2014 against 40% in 1962), the strong presence of females in higher education: in 2014, 56% of students are female (but only, 18% in the sciences), the reluctance of the patriarchal establishment against equality between women and men remains as fierce as ever. The figures are clear-cut: the women are the main victims of insecure, involuntary part-time work, suffer an average pay differences of 27% for equal qualifications and experience, are almost absent from the boards of directors of big companies (13% women in the boards of directors of the companies of the CAC 40 list of France's largest companies) and under-represented in politics (27% of women in the National Assembly and 22% women in the Senate). Finally, they face even greater inequality during retirement.
It’s necessary to rethink the feminism
The weakness of academic research on the gender equality reveals the difficulties for gender studies to structure themselves and to produce ideas and concepts to answer the big challenges of the 21st century, particularly in terms of scientific challenges, technological progress and management, as the old models are out-of-date.
The famous trio of essentialist, differential and identity, do not fit anymore with the requirement of a renewed feminist agenda relevant to our time, or with other ongoing rapid technological changes. From the augmented reality to the augmented woman, there is only one step. Virtual objects embedded in the field of perception and thus of the conscience leads us to even more activism, in particular political one, to finally gain the long fight for the gender equality.
Anne Hidalgo is the only candidate to commit herself to concrete measures to establish equality between women and men that will be able to create a new order at this precise and crucial time in history.
Incorporation of notion of professional equality in the company’s balance sheet identical to that of the environmental and the social responsibility balances.
Fight against gender stereotypes in the choice of studies, in order to promote the place of the women in the sciences which will be one of the major guarantors of the accession of women to real equality.
Women’s self-confidence in their main function of the development of our society will allow the breaking of the male domination model which, while reversing the domination against dominated, will allow the opening of the way towards a fairer world, more open and more powerful.