No, there is still little economic equality between women and men! Blame the sociologists Celine Besier and Civil Golac

President: 1 voice a day (30/50) – So this campaign? Until April 9th, “Télérama” will provide a chart blanche to the personalities of 50 people from the world of culture and ideas. Today, sociologists Celine Besier and Civil Golac make pessimistic observations about the remaining inequality between men and women. And we ask for actual measures.

How to write a campaign diary for a presidential campaign that appears to have never actually taken off, crushed by news of a pandemic and war in Ukraine and also oppressed by the long refusal of presidential candidates to land in the arena. teeth? The issue of economic inequality, which arises between social classes and between women and men and forms the center of our research, is, in any case, far from the center of political debate in recent weeks. ..

Indeed, on March 8, Emmanuel Macron announced that gender equality remained a major cause of his second five-year term. “Many things have been done in five years, but there is still a lot to do. »» Looking at the rear-view mirror, it’s hard to be enthusiastic about this outlook. Budgets promised to combat sexism and sexual violence never meet the recommendations of the High Council for Equality. And the president retained several ministers involved in the case of sexual harassment.

It should be remembered that sexual and domestic violence are inextricably linked to economic inequality. “Trainees are made to make pipes and coffee”, Would have declared Eric Zemmour to his office neighbor Figaro, I found it on a video broadcast by Mediapart. If the eight women who accused him today did not complain, it was virtually dependent on him for fear of entering a career as a journalist or losing his job.

But at least it can be said that the ending quintile does not measure the degree of economic inequality between women and men. This is primarily due to a general ideology within and far beyond the presidential party, which states that society is inevitable towards economic equality between women and men that almost already exists. I am proceeding to. Indeed, if women’s wage income is 28% lower than men’s in 2000, it will be “only” 22% lower in 2019. Indeed, recent political measures are working to help women break the upper limit of the best glass: 2021 after the Kope Zimmermann Act, which imposes quotas on the board of directors of large corporations for 10 years. The Lixane Act, passed in December, requires at least one-third of women to attend the executive and executive committees. Equality in the direction of history will be within reach.

The division of labor by gender has hardly changed

But some facts resist this optimistic view of things. The income gap between women and men is narrowing, but given the rising qualifications of women, this narrowing seems to be fairly relative. Therefore, in couples of different genders, since 2000, it is common for women to be more qualified than their spouses than in the opposite situation. But the women involved are still on average … earning 42% less than their partners. This is because the sexual division of labor has hardly changed. Women continue to provide more than two-thirds of household chores and parental work. Their research period and large-scale entry into the wage-labor market have barely shaken their large-scale mission to free domestic work. These issues of definite expression between professionals and domestic work affect the accumulation of personal wealth throughout their lives.

In 1998, the wealth gap between women and men accounted for 9% of the average wealth of women and men in France. This gap was much smaller than income inequality. Most couples were married under the default regime of the property community and shared the results of the sexual division of labor relatively equally. In a society of fewer marriages and more divorces in 2015, the wealth gap between women and men rose to 16%, almost doubling in less than 20 years.

It was until 1965 that married women had the right to control their property and their household budget. However, the rise of cohabitation does not guarantee legal approval of free domestic work offered to families and severely limits the scope of these new rights. In the name of professional equality already there, men and women refuse to marry, set up separate bank accounts or real estate, and evenly distribute their costs while income is unequal. In the name of women’s financial independence, redistribution mechanisms such as compensation benefits and survivor pensions are weakening. In the name of equality, there are numerous practices that update inequality at the individual and collective levels.

Inheritance weight

We also live in a society where the weight of inheritance in personal wealth is becoming more and more important. In early February, the issue of inheritance tax surfaced temporarily in the campaign. Emmanuel Macron dedicated part of his program presentation to this on March 17th. Most of the running candidates participate in the tax deduction competition for direct donations in the name of intergenerational inequality highlighted by the health crisis. It forgets a little earlier that inheritance benefits only a small minority. Only 10% of inheritance and donation beneficiaries receive more than half of the heritage transmitted in France. One-third of French women and men receive nothing. It also means that women and men do not receive the same remittance from their parents, and at the same time, forget about it. Our work shows that sons receive real estate, professional property, land or company stock more often and receive them more often in the form of donations. Sisters, on the other hand, often wait for their parents to die and receive their share in the form of financial compensation, which is often underestimated. Women mainly specialize in free household chores, but it is men who stock up. It is these gender inequality that allow some families to monopolize wealth from generation to generation, and others have long been deprived of it.

The intervention of judicial and legal experts in inheritance and separation often only justifies these inequality, and financial compensation for the free work of spouses and mothers is very low, giving priority to men. Promotes the protection of family property. Thus, while the norms of equality dominate, family law is formally neutral, but economic inequality between women and men is quietly perpetuated in gender-formed family relationships. .. Obviously, private is political.

Efforts for a family model of heteronormativity

The campaign, which did not actually take place, envisioned specific measures to clarify inequality between women and men and class inequality, without discussing the consequences in feminist terms. For example, weakening a pay-as-you-go pension system is returning everyone to their individual capacity. Thus, Emmanuel Macron’s recent announcement is, as the most modest for women, a bad sign. It will also be necessary to analyze in feminist terms what the abolition of civil servants and the reduction of civil servant means means. It mainly eliminates women’s work, Care (Care for children, the elderly, sick or disabled) And increasing the burden of free domestic work for women, especially those who do not have the means to delegate this work to other women, is always worse wages and It is more unstable than ever.

In our capitalist society, economic inequality between women and men is also built within the family and is closely linked to class inequality. Domestic violence and sexual violence are related here. If we want to reduce violence and want a more just society, we must attack the heteronormativity family model. In order to invent others, we must reduce the means of research in the social sciences year by year, and stop focusing on despising cross-research without knowing anything about it. It is these social sciences that provide us with the tools to understand how gender, class, generation, sexuality and even racial inequality are expressed. Only clear and documented observations of inequality, rather than the almost existing myths of equality, can provide tools for combating inequality.

VSeline Bessière is a sociologist, professor at the University of Paris-Dofine (PSL University) and a member of the Irisso Institute. She is interested in the economic and legal aspects of her family: asset transfer, marital separation, organization of domestic savings, division of labor between her spouses, etc.

Sibylle Gollac is a sociologist and researcher at CNRS. Her work focuses on social mobility and the role of heritage in recreating social class and gender relations, as well as the location of economics and law in kinship and gender inequality. She is currently working on inheritance and marital separation, and how the law and its professionals assemble them.

They co-authored The type of capital. How families recreate inequality (La Découverte ed., “The Opposite of Facts”, 336 p., 21 €), which, despite formal egalitarian rights, is between men and women. The reason why wealth inequality is emphasized and the class society recreates itself through the diversion of men’s capital.

> Tomorrow, Monday, March 21st, we will send Blanche to Lucie Pinson, the founder of NGO Reclaim France.

> Find all the contributions to the campaign diary “One Voice One Day” here