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.