10 things that have changed for French women since 2012

A relentless struggle against violence; Equality in the workplace continues to progress; Cracks in the glass ceiling; Greater parity in public life; Fairer access to pensions; Better balance between personal and professional life; Better support for single parent families; Consolidated and improved access to abortion and contraception; Gender stereotypes ostracised; Women’s entrepreneurship encouraged.


1. A relentless struggle against violence
The 2012 Act against Sexual Harassment was the first law of the current five-year term. The Act of August 2014 on Gender Equality made it possible in particular to put into place the “téléphone grand danger” mobile alert service (400 telephones are currently active) and the eviction of the violent spouse from the couple’s home.

2. Equality in the workplace continues to progress
Around 70% of companies with 1,000 employees and a third of companies with more than 50 employees are now covered by an agreement or action plan for equality in the workplace.

3. Cracks in the glass ceiling
The threshold of 30% women on the Board of Directors of large companies was exceeded in 2014 (+3% in one year), making France the most advanced EU country in this area. The Act of 4 August 2014 increased the mandatory presence to 40% women on the Board of Directors of listed companies by 2017.

4. Greater parity in public life
The strict parity respected within the Government represents historic progress, and one of the world’s highest ratios (WEF report).

5. Fairer access to pensions
The validation of pension quarters for part-time employees is now a reality for employees working a minimum of 150 hours per quarter. Periods of maternity leave are also now better taken into account.

6. Better balance between personal and professional life
Parental leave has been reformed in order to reduce the average length of maternity leave and to encourage fathers’ involvement. A leave of absence for working partners of pregnant women has also been adopted.

7. Better support for single parent families
Family support allowance for single mothers is being gradually revised so as to increase by 25% excluding inflation by 2018 (from €90 to €120). Protection against unpaid maintenance allowances was implemented on 1 April 2016.

8. Consolidated and improved access to abortion and contraception
Effective access to abortion has been facilitated with 100% of the costs covered, free and confidential access to contraception for minors aged 15 to 18, free morning-after pill at universities, and a strengthened local abortion service across the French regions.

9. Gender stereotypes ostracised
In the media, the High Council for the Audio-visual Sector (CSA) requests a list of indicators every year from channels on the representation of women and men on their programmes. In schools, training on equality between girls and boys has been implemented for teachers and officials in the national education sector.

10. Women’s entrepreneurship encouraged
A Women’s Entrepreneurship Plan has been put in place to facilitate access to credit and support for female entrepreneurs. The aim is to increase the proportion of women among entrepreneurs to 40% by 2017.

Dernière modification : 09/03/2016

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