Feminism: 2022, the year of all fights

A rough year for women’s rights. The Taliban continue to wage war on them in Afghanistan, where just last week, after denying them access to colleges and high schools, the doors of universities were brutally closed to them. A hatred of women that we find in Iran, where the student Mahsa Amini died at the age of 22 for a lock of hair protruding from her headscarf. If the indignation and resistance do not weaken, the repression is particularly ferocious against women, several of whose bodies have been seriously mutilated. In Ciudad Juárez, “the town where young girls die”, in Mexico, there are still anonymous bodies. They have been counted in the thousands since 1993. In Europe, five years after #MeToo, the number of femicides is not decreasing (107 have been recorded in France since January), gender discrimination is still relevant, sexual harassment and the plethoric misogynistic remarks on social networks.

« Endometriosis, a social problem »

The fight has not stopped all year 2022 in France. In January, the national strategy to fight endometriosis, a disease known since 1860 which affects 10% of women, was announced with a bang by the government. « It’s not a women’s problem, it’s a social problem », assured even Emmanuel Macron. We were hoping for action. But, despite a unanimous vote by the Assembly to recognize it as a long-term condition – which would have allowed total and free coverage by health insurance – the government refused to include it on the list of the Social Security.

Abortion: the Constitution to « protect against regression »

On June 24, Roe v. Wade is repealed in the United States. Abortion is no longer a federal, that is to say national, right, but a matter for the States alone. Following this decision, this right has regressed in about thirty of them. A measure with global consequences, which reminds us that women’s bodies still do not belong to them. In Chile, where abortion was only authorized in cases of rape, danger to the life of the mother or fetal malformations, a progressive and feminist Constitution project was to open up this right. The rejection of the text in September by nearly 62% of Chileans blocked any progress. Everywhere, when this right has been obtained, safeguarding it remains a struggle. It is for this reason that MP Mathilde Panot (FI) tabled, on October 7, a text to include abortion in our Constitution, in order to “prevent a regression”. Modified, the bill was adopted by the National Assembly on November 24, in first reading. In five months, six bills have been tabled on this subject. So far, no country has constitutionalized this right.

Sexual violence and “slanderous denunciations”

Since February 2021, the PPDA affair has not stopped coming back to the front page. The first complaint of the writer Florence Porcel led to many other testimonies. All accuse the former TF1 presenter of harassment, sexual assault or rape. Words relayed by the publication of the book Impunity, by Hélène Devynck, former assistant to the 73-year-old journalist. The latter speaks of « slanderous denunciations » and brought charges against sixteen women. But, in June 2022, Florence Porcel’s lawyers obtained judicial information on the rapes denounced by their client, so far considered prescribed for one, uncharacterized for the other.

A new rape complaint also led to the opening of a preliminary investigation in Nanterre. Never worried, despite the proliferation of stories accusing him over the years, the journalist illustrates the impunity that often accompanies men of power. Control, abuse of power, misogynistic, homophobic or transphobic reflections, harassment, sexual assault… Revelations have punctuated the year, without any common rule emerging to eradicate these behaviors definitively, calling into question personalities like the youtubeur Norman , animator Jean-Marc Morandini, deputy Adrien Quatennens, actor Sofiane Bennacer, or even comic book author Bastien Vivès.

#WeAll and framework law

Every year, the #NousToutes movement targets the World Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, at the end of November, to mobilize massively. 100,000 demonstrators hit the pavement this year in France: a record. Like Spain, a model in this field, or Belgium, they demanded the adoption of a framework law against gender violence, involving a sustainable budget of 2 billion euros per year, the application of the law on sex life education at school, compulsory training for professionals, an emergency plan for the protection of children or the inclusion of the concept of consent in the Penal Code.

Also mentioned, the creation of brigades and specialized courts should be studied by Dominique Verien, the UDI senator who is co-piloting a six-month parliamentary mission on domestic violence. Its conclusions are expected in March 2023.

A Nobel “to avenge my sex”

The year ended with a wonderful surprise: the writer Annie Ernaux, read and appreciated all over the world, was chosen by the Swedish Academy. But the first French Nobel laureate in literature had to endure in her country the anger of the far right and of old males who considered themselves superior in their definition of literature. She wrote for “Avenge (s) a race and avenge (s) one sex”she replied during her speech receiving the prize. “A collective victory” that she shares, with pride, with “those who think of future generations” and to « the safeguard of an Earth that the appetite for profit of a few continues to make less and less livable for all populations ».


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