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Archive for April, 2012|Monthly archive page

Campaign launched encouraging French women to vote for the Left.

In Movements, Politics on April 23, 2012 at 7:40 pm

Logo for "Les droits des femmes passent par la gauche" campaign.

The results of the first round of Presidential elections in France have produced the two final candidates: François Hollande and the incumbent president Nicolas Sarkozy. It now leaves those who voted for any of the eight other candidates to choose between Sarkozy and Hollande in the next round. A new campaign [roughly translated as], “Women’s rights lean to the left” (Les droits des femmes passent par la gauche), has been launched by women’s rights activists to try and ensure the victory of the leftist François Hollande in the next round.

The movement has been created by three of France’s most prominent feminists: Caroline de Haas, Martine Storti and Françoise Picq. Haas is founder of the French feminist movement Osez le feminisme, Storti is a feminist academic and journalist, and Picq is a lecturer in feminist studies and women’s history at Université Paris 9.

The campaign is recruiting for activists in preparation for the second round of elections in early May. Their preliminary manifesto is thus: “About a hundred feminist men and women will launch in the coming days a campaign in order to take part in the victory of the left in the second round of the presidential elections. This campaign will remind people why the advancement of women’s rights can only be achieved with progressive policies. It will also underline that if the victory of the left is a prerequisite for advancing gender equality, then it is inadequate. […] We know that the battle to roll back oppression and stereotypes will be tough, even if the left come to power.”

(Une centaine de femmes et hommes féministes lanceront dans les jours qui viennent une campagne afin de participer à la victoire de la gauche au second tour de l’élection présidentielle. Cette campagne rappellera pourquoi l’avancée des droits des femmes ne peut passer que par des politiques progressistes. Elle soulignera également que si la victoire de la gauche est une condition importante pour faire avancer l’égalité entre les sexes, elle n’est pas suffisante. […] Nous le savons, la bataille pour faire reculer les oppressions et les stéréotypes sera rude, y compris si la gauche arrive au pouvoir.)

It seems that women, by feminists at least, are being encouraged to vote for Hollande in May. It has already been recorded in this blog that Hollande spoke out about women’s issues on International Women’s Day. Sarkozy, however, was silent until the last moment and did not entirely match what Hollande and others promised. As ever, it remains to be seen what impact this campaign will have until the votes are cast.

For more information on the “Women’s rights lean to the left” campaign see their blog here, for more information on Hollande’s campaign see his website here, and for information on Sarkozy’s campaign click here.

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Poll: Who would you vote for in the second round?

In Politics, Poll on April 22, 2012 at 7:07 pm

Image from lefiagro.fr

According to my very small poll on this site, the two candidates through to the second round would have been Eva Joly and François Hollande.  However, in reality, according to exit polls François Hollande and Nicholas Sarkozy have been chosen as the two presidential candidates who will stand against each other in the second round. See the Guardian live blog here.

This poll has the same principle as the last, vote for who you would like to win, not who you think will win.

Let’s see if it matches reality.

Poll: Who would you vote for in the first round?

In Politics, Poll on April 17, 2012 at 8:36 am

This is a quick poll for visitors to my site just for fun! Please vote based on your personal views, not who you predict will win.

If you’re not sure, take a moment to google their names, or look at their wikipedia pages (not that wikipedia is entirely reliable!).

Just like the real polls, this one is now closed! Thanks to everyone who voted.

Sarkozy finally speaks up on policies affecting women

In Politics on April 7, 2012 at 6:49 pm

Image from Reuters

Nicolas Sarkozy, so far in his presidential campaign, has failed to attend any women’s rights forums or debates, despite having invites to two well-respected events. It is speculated that Sarkozy may make a late surge in the polls, and given what little attention he has given to women’s issues, it is unlikely that French feminist groups will be pleased by this.

Last month Sarkozy declined the invitation to be present at a question and answer evening organized by Féministes en Mouvement – a direct snub of feminist groups. Sarkozy’s rivals Jean-Luc Mélenchon (Front de gauche), Eva Joly (EELV) François Hollande (PS), and Philippe Poutou (NPA) did attend however and were questioned individually on issues.  Mélenchon was the only candidate to criticize the current President on his policies. He accused Sarkozy of “being against [Muslim] prayers in the street, but allowing Catholics to pray in front abortion clinics.” (d’être contre les prières [musulmanes] dans la rue, mais laisse les catholiques prier devant les centres d’IVG ). Mélenchon added that he believes there needs to be an attack on the ideology of the far right, which Sarkozy partly represents.

More recently, Sarkozy missed the forum organized by Elle magazine this week because protesters were blocking the entrance at a prestigious Paris Science-Po university where the debate was being held. However, Nathalie Arthaud, François Bayrou, Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, François Hollande, Eva Joly and Marine Le Pen did manage to make it inside for the debate. Up to this point, Sarkozy had not made any pledges directly relating to problems affecting women.

On the 5th of April, however, Sarkozy did finally unveil some plans for creating 200,000 more places in childcare. On his website it says that these places are “in order to give parents a free choice to either work or stay at home and raise their children” (pour accorder aux parents un libre choix : celui de travailler ou de rester à la maison pour élever leurs enfants).

This is such a small measure which is unlikely to appease feminists who are already unhappy with the present government.

For more information, read the égalité-infos.fr article here, the slate.fr article here and all about Sarkozy’s policies here.