Statement by the League of Human Rights (LDH), France

In 1977, the United Nations declared March 8 a day of struggle for women’s rights, and the many initiatives taken around the world on this occasion testify to the history and determination of the long-standing struggles of millions of women. These mobilizations are also a reminder that, almost everywhere in the world, women’s rights continue to come up against the persistence of a patriarchy that does not intend to give up its privileges and multiple inequalities.

Thus, for nearly a year, Iranian women have been fighting against a theocratic regime that intends to silence them and which, to do so, does not shrink from any violence, any coercive means. In Afghanistan, girls and young women are now excluded from any right to education, a sure guarantee of their emancipation, and the Taliban regime intends to reduce them to total invisibility. The war ravaging Ukraine has shown, once again, that rape can be used as a weapon of war by a soldier convinced of his impunity…

The LDH gives its full support to women who, all over the world, are fighting against scourges that, for centuries, have exposed them to violence of all kinds, unwanted motherhood, forced marriages, extreme poverty, laws and mentalities that make them eternal minors.

While the situation of women in France may appear to be better in many respects, there are still areas where much progress remains to be made. In the absence of clear and determined political will – particularly in terms of prevention – and in the absence of adequate resources, sexual and gender-based violence continues to claim many victims. It must also be recalled that none of the progress achieved can be considered definitively acquired, a fortiori if the effectiveness of a right cannot be guaranteed. This is the case, for example, with the right to abortion, which is weakened by often difficult conditions of access. This is also true of professional equality, often promised but never achieved. Income differences between men and women have a heavy impact on the standard of living of many women, who are too often plunged into precariousness, and, at a time when pension reform is being discussed, the current government would do better to propose immediate measures to remedy the current gaps rather than measures that will only worsen the situation of future retirees.

On the occasion of March 8, 2023, the LDH wishes to reaffirm its feminist commitment. It calls on the whole of society to participate massively in the many initiatives organized on this day and which aim to guarantee all women the right to life, liberty, equality and dignity.

Paris, 6 March 2023