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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Six thèmes et un fil conducteur pour les droits des femmes

by Mina Kaci

Six Issues, and One Central Theme, for Women’s Rights

Translated Saturday 17 October 2009, by Helen Robertshaw and reviewed by Henry Crapo

Real equality in areas as diverse as liberty, dignity and secularism, will be at the heart of the demonstration on October 17.

The women’s rights demonstration on October 17 [1] will focus on issues including salaries, autonomy, liberty, dignity, solidarity and secularism. These six themes are bound by a central demand: “For real equality between women and men”. Maya Surduts, of the National Collective for Women’s Rights (CNDF), and Sabine Salmon, of Femmes Solidaires (“Women United”) – the two movements behind the initiative – explained at a press conference yesterday, how much “Sarkozy’s politics plunges women into precarious situations and poverty”.

“The current policy of fighting against discrimination and for diversity reduces women to a category among others and makes them invisible, even though they represent half of humanity. Is this a way for the government to push through neoliberalism?” protested Surduts, referring also to “the constant attacks against the right to have control of their own bodies and the right to a decent pension”.

The demonstration, called by 103 feminist, community, trade union and left-wing political organisations, is expected to bring together “several thousand people”, which is more than on March 8, 2009. Salmon explained: “Due to the crisis, we’ve seen a serious regression for women facing the hardships of daily life and precarious situations”. She also claimed that “young people in particular are affected”.

Around 20 coaches full of demonstrators from the provinces are expected in Paris. “This shows the urgency of getting out into the street, making ourselves visible, in all our diversity”, emphasised the president of Femmes Solidaires. She also stressed the importance of protecting secularism, “another issue jeopardised by Sarkozy”, as she believes that this value is “essential for making advances towards women’s autonomy”.

The organisers, who have a set of demands related to the six issues to be developed throughout the Paris march, have already planned a meeting with the prime minister the day after the demonstration.

[12.30pm, Place de la Bastille, in Paris.

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