Under Macron, France has made significant progress in the fight for gender equality by clarifying what is meant by gender identity and giving new powers to Moreno, the minister for gender equality, diversity and equal opportunities.
From gender equality to the fight against inequalities, commitment and urgency are the keystone for advancing our country, which seems, however, to oppose some cultural and political resistance in the full implementation of concrete actions, which always find plausible excuses, shifting the focus to the digital and “green” transition, equally important but clearly forming a salvific package towards a full implementation of the 2030 Agenda. In short, the difference between staying in the G20 or getting out!
When he was a minister, French President Emmanuel Macron’s feminism did not result in effective measures, apart from supporting initiatives such as the reform of the penal code in November 2016, which in the revision of Article 225-1 far surpasses the current Italian debate on the Zan law decree, but his presidency has instead seen him engaged on several fronts.
From the completion of the same reform of the penal code on gender equality with art 132-76-77, to the ministerial circular that ‘on the basis of constitutional case law, clarifies that with the notion of gender identity, the legislator refers to the gender with which a person identifies, which may or may not correspond to the sex indicated in the civil status registers or to different expressions of belonging to the male or female sex, to include transphobia and transvestism’, as explained by jurist Emanuele Calò. With the same dexterity he reinforced paternity leave, which has been in place in France for 20 years and which was doubled from 14 to 28 days last year.
The closing image of the Generation Equality Forum with President Macron in the middle with Minister Moreno becomes important. This is what the Minister’s job description reads: Minister for Gender Equality, Diversity and Equal Opportunities. A ministry with a portfolio that just over a month ago brought a law to the Senate to improve the law on domestic violence, finally including important changes concerning economic violence. It is in this context of the Forum that a new Agenda has been outlined, starting with a treasury of USD 40 billion in investments by the more than 500 civil society organizations, 94 youth organizations and 1,000 principals from international philanthropy and business. Concrete plans under the aegis of the United Nations, which with this initiative redeems itself somewhat from other past failures. It stands up for women and girls and for a reconstruction that wants them to be at the center and no longer marginalized, isolated, and cut off simply because they are discriminated in too many countries that systematically trample on their rights, which are universal rights and not gender-based rights!
It is clear that there is a historic change underway on these issues and that the conditions have been created for a new ecosystem that starts not with promises or subsidies but with investments in gender equality. This will lead to faster progress than the mercilessly depicted statistics of the Global Gender Gap Report, which show that it will take an average of 135.6 years to achieve gender equality across a range of indicators worldwide, instead of the 99.5 years outlined in the 2020 report. Careful monitoring of commitments made in both financial and political spheres, private and public, will give a boost where progress has been too slow so that the dictates of the 1995 Beijing Conference do not remain a dead letter.
We can hide behind the fact that France is a presidential republic, therefore more streamlined in the implementation of regulations and that it fully recognizes itself, with its merits and flaws, as a multicultural country, or we can take on all the strength that our country has shown on the football fields even in adversity, and transform that energy into the recognition of a country where the voice of women and girls and the children of second-generation migrants unite, sending a strong generational message. We can change together with a civic sense of constitutional rights and true gender equality, because there is no other way but to recognize the strength of a better and stronger world also to fight the pandemic challenges with a true social cohesion.