The victories of the feminist struggle have, for centuries, allowed us to obtain the rights we have today. We wanted to trace through this article some of our great victories! (Since there is never a small victory for equality).
The 1900's, the woman is liberated
Let's start with this key date when married women can freely dispose of their wages. This was one of the first reforms that undermined the absolute power of the husband. Belgium, a little avant-garde, had recognized this right in 1900.
Women could now take maternity leave. Obviously, at the time, this maternity leave was unpaid, but it was welcomed as a relief for women.
The 1940s, the right to vote
An important date in French history. The sentence "The woman must obey her husband" is removed from the Civil Code, and the woman can therefore register at the university without the prior authorization of her husband. The woman will thus become more free to make her choices.
The right to vote and to be elected is granted to French women, it will be necessary to wait until 1948 in Belgium so that all the women can reach the ballot boxes.
The 60s, a woman can work without her husband's agreement
The law changes the legal regime of marriage for couples married without a contract. Women can manage their property, open a bank account and exercise a professional activity without their husband's consent
Late 1960s, sexual and reproductive rights
The Neuwirth law authorizes contraception from the age of 18, but it is not reimbursed by social security and its advertising is prohibited.
During the famous Bobigny trial, lawyer Gisèle Halimi defends five women tried for practicing or aiding and abetting abortion, including Marie-Claire Chevalier, a minor who had an abortion after a rape.
This trial served as the impetus for the Veil law authorizing abortion. Medical termination of pregnancy was legalized.
The 1980s, creation of Women's Rights Day
The first French organisation of the International Women's Rights Day took place on 8 March 1982. Even today, the media coverage of this day helps to highlight the issues of equality between women and men.
Sexual harassment in the workplace is punished by law.
While the penis was perfectly represented in textbooks, it was only in 2017 that the clitoris was finally properly represented in them.
The latest victory of the feminist struggle was the extension of paternity leave to 15 days. In 2023, it will be extended to 20 days, and we hope that this change will make further progress.
Our elders have achieved great things and thanks to them we have the rights we now have. Unfortunately, many inequalities still persist today and the new generation is fighting for other demands, such as equal pay, parity, the fight against homophobia from which the majority of Muslim women or women identified as such suffer, the opening of MAP to all, the rights of disabled women.
In short, the fight for gender equality is far from over and many battles remain. Women's rights do not only count on 8 March but every day of the year!