Equal Cop: No Public Money Without Efforts to Achieve Gender Equality

No unparalleled public funding in favor of equality! A few days before the legislative elections, this is what the Supreme Council for Equality between Women and Men demanded on Tuesday 7 June from the government and members of the National Assembly. Do companies and institutions apply for administrative subsidies or permits? Before taking any further steps, they first present to the public authorities their measures to correct the existing imbalances, at the expense of their employees. No concrete initiatives before discussing, and perhaps hopefully obtaining funds. This is what the SEC recommends. Give and take, which theorized even in 2013, calling it the concept of “equal conditionality”.

An economic recovery plan “forgot” the woman

“It is a huge lever in favor of equality and there is not much to make our society more just. In addition, it does not cost much”, says Sylvie-Pierre Brussolette, the new president of HCE. Little outside specialists who work on women’s rights know the outside, but equal conditionality is nonetheless a rare simplicity: not a penny of public money should be spent without a peer in terms of gender equality. However, the Chair is keen to mention the other two tools that are also in place to change the situation: financial incentives for better practices in the form of bonuses, as well as gender-sensitive budgets.

Because HCE’s observation is bitter: the economic recovery plan simply “forgot” the issue of equality between women and men. This, however, is the conclusion drawn from reading his petition to the public authorities asking them to review their budget strategy. When we analyze the recovery plan in detail, what are the priorities? First, the economic recovery will be “green”. The government is counting on environmental transformation to generate 900,000 jobs. At least 30 billion euros (one billion euros), out of the 100 billion allocated to this aid programme, has been allocated. However, in the so-called “green” professions (water, waste management, organic farming), women account for only 16% of salaries. And in those with high “greening” potential, they are not more numerous: construction (10% of the workforce), engineering (less than 15%), transportation (26%) …

The other pillar of recovery: digital, with women accounting for 30% of employees but “mainly occupying support functions within human resources, administration, marketing and communications,” the report identifies. Issued by the Foundation for Women of the Ile-de-France region, announced on March 29, 2021. Only 10-15% of them are still present in the field of high technology, still referring to the structure led by Anne-Cecile Melvert. Before HCE, I also noted that the beneficiaries of the 100 billion euros planned to help the economy out of the crisis associated with the Covid pandemic, are sectors that are mainly invested by men.

An alert has already been launched within the European Union

A similar warning has been launched within the European Union, which funds 40% of the French plan. “If we want to create jobs where they are needed, we must put gender equality at the center of the recovery,” said Alexandra Eese, MEP for the German parliament (the Greens). In France, of the 35 billion euros earmarked for sectoral support schemes, only 7 billion euros are allocated to jobs primarily occupied by women (such as personal assistance services or education). While 8 billion euros have been allocated to the automobile industry, 15 billion euros to aeronautics, 4 billion euros to technology companies, and about 8 billion euros to construction and public works.

“Public finances must be exemplary. They guide our society when they fund environmental transformation, support research or enhance corporate competitiveness. But there is no comparable way in favor of equality between women and men to correct existing imbalances, which are exacerbated by budgetary choices”, affirms the Committee’s appeal Higher Education. Today, women’s income from wages is 22% less than that of men. They account for 70% of low wages and risky contracts, as well as 60% of lowest paid workers.

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