Feminist Call Towards a Large Unified Demonstration in Paris on Sunday, 30 September
The ratification of this treaty by the parliament will lead to an unprecedented social regression. As numerous reports have shown, although all the popular strata are involved in this, women will be hit hardest by these austerity measures consisting of cuts in public services and social protection. Already now, since they make up the overwhelming majority of the precarious, they are the most unemployed or under-employed group.
Moreover, as parents bearing the main responsibility for the family, they are the most important users of these services as the main recipients of social and family services. By dint of their reduction and the progressive dismantling of the social state, women are obliged to ensure everything that government does not provide; their (invisible) work in the private sphere is enlarging and their traditional role in the family is being reinforced to the detriment of their paid work, of their autonomy and even of their sanity.
At the same time, women are the first to be affected by the reduction of workforces and of salaries in the public sector, since almost everywhere they make up the majority of employees. And they are the first to be hit by pension “reforms”, which have been introduced in the context of budgetary restrictions. Women’s rights are threatened and are being rolled back as cuts affect sexual and reproductive healthcare services, subsidies to organisations combating violence against women or when numerous maternity centres or abortion clinics close, as is the case in France.
While massive public investments are indispensable in terms of social protection, public services and employment to respond to social and environmental needs and to reduce illegalities, the Budgetary Pact imposes a lasting restriction on public finances and concretely forbids any development in the direction of social progress.
While inequities between women and men are more unacceptable than ever, it is urgently necessary to create public services of day care and aid to dependent people and to increase the personnel and means at the disposal of social and health services. However, this Pact, by making these policies impossible and by perpetuating austerity, aggravates gender inequality.
We reject this Budgetary Pact that dooms the future and sacrifices democracy and the well-being of populations to satisfy the demands of the financial markets.
We call for organising resistance and proposing alternatives to austerity in France and in Europe. We call for bringing feminist alternatives for another Europe to bear in this process.
We are calling for a unified demonstration on 30 September organised by numerous associations, trade-union organisations, parties and community bodies involved in citizens’ audits against the Budgetary Pact, against austerity and for a democratic debate.
Full Petition (in French) and first signatories: http://petitionpublique.fr/PeticaoVer.aspx?pi=P2012N28837