by Ségolène on February 16, 2015 - 5:53am

The Economic and Social Council published in February 2014, a study showing that according the public opinion and employers, women’s work is always less legitimate than men’s.
Indeed, 50 years after women have gaining the right to pursue an activity, women’s work is still less visible, less recognized and less valuated than men’s. Women's work has not yet acquired full legitimacy in France as a study of the Economic Social and Environmental Council (CESE), published in February 2014 says so. 

Since the 1965 law that allowed them to work without the consent of their husbands, their situation has certainly changed but they still face barriers that prevent recognition of their work.  If we stick to the figures, the trend observed over the past decades is positive: in 2011, 14.8 million men and 13.5 million women are recorded as working, against 13.2 million men and 6.6 million women in the early 1960s.  Access to employment is more difficult for young women with low qualifications than their male counterparts, women are more often recruited on a temporary contract. 

"The differences in wages stop to decrease since the 1990s and it remains important and relevant to all sectors and occupational categories. It helps to strengthen the idea that women’s work is less vaulted than men’s work. 

Regarding the removal of women from the labor market, we can draw three main categories of reasons given by mothers to explain their withdrawal from the labor market. 

First they include the conciliation of family and professional life, "a phrase, which is to the eyes of the employers, exclusively applicable to women ».

Women are more likely than men to stop working to take parental leave, to reduce their working hours or to ! stop work when conciliation becomes too complicated. 

According to a study by the National Family Allowances Fund (CNAF), 40% of mothers who stopped working after giving birth would have preferred to continue their activities. 

The study also mentioned others obstacles, such as the practical and financial constraints related to childcare, which are either unavailable or too expensive, and working conditions including work hours have a decisive weight as well. 

Faced with these difficulties, « employers are still shy to make efforts, and they mostly implement financial aid instead of making working hours more flexible, for instance by refusing to plan meetings at other time than at the end of the day» 

The delegation of women's rights and equality of the EESC calls for the development and the diversification of childcare modes, which is the « only condition to enable women to work and child rearing." 

It also calls on governments to encourage shared management of family responsibilities between the two parents, encouraging fathers to become more involved. 

This is a burning issue because, working for better employability of women may at once reinforce their social status and ensure their financial and family autonomy ». 




Anne Reuters, Le travail des femmes n’est toujours pas légitime, Challenges, Février 2014



Women's work has always been devaluated: first they were only supposed to do job related to "feminine values" like sweetness or maternity (for example nurse was one of the first job that they could do). Nowadays they are represented in every branch but are still suffering from a lack of legitimacy. I think that this leads them to be more and more efficient and try their best to be faultless, even if this means to privilege their carreer than a family life.