International Women's Day

Women hit the streets of French cities ahead of International Women's Day

Women gather in Paris to defend their rights_ahead of International Women's Day, 7 March 2021
Women gather in Paris to defend their rights_ahead of International Women's Day, 7 March 2021 © Révolution Permanente/Twitter

Hundreds of people, mostly women, turned out in the streets of Paris and other cities across France over the weekend, to shine a light on their challenges, both at home and abroad on the eve of International Women's Day on Monday.

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In Paris, some 300 people gathered at the Place de la République, alongside the feminist collectives "On Arrête Toutes" and "Du Pain et des Roses", calling for women to "go on strike" on Monday.

According to the statistics organisation Eurostat, women were paid 14.1 percent less than men in the EU in 2018, a figure which has not changed a great deal. A reality which has sharply degraded since the Covid pandemic.

In Lyon, around 6000 people turned out for a festive demonstration, according to a teachers' trade union Sud Education 69, in the Rhone region. 

They also called for a general strike on Monday, pointing out that while 80 percent of school teachers are women, there are more male school directors - one in five, compared to one in eight women.

Women teachers earn 13.9 percent less than their male counterparts, they wrote.

In Montpellier and Lille, posters, banners and signs called out areas where society must make more effort, be it for rights to abortion, tackling inequality and sexual violence.

There were references to the need to fight domestic violence and femicide, which claimed the lives of 90 women in 2020.

Slogans were chanted, including the demand for access to medically assisted pregnancies (PMA), a debate which has deeply divided France.

In Nice, a march was organised despite the weekend lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus.

The United Nations has named the theme for International Women’s Day (8 March), “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a Covid-19 world,” celebrating the tremendous efforts by women and girls around the world in shaping a more equal future and recovery from the pandemic and highlights the gaps that remain.

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