Liberté, égalité, fraternité, the French motto. Everything is all about those three words. But I’ve noticed that for months now, it’s all about equality, most specifically equality between men and women, which is fine if we consider that there are today a gap between men and women’s salary. A lot of CEO are men, some areas of Paris are not safe for women, they are insulted by men, they don’t feel safe. Things need to be done to protect women, and to establish an effective equality between men and women.
In order to do so, French presidents try to do things. There was a ministry for the right of women during François Hollande, and now, there is a Secretary for equality between men and women, at his head Marlène Schiappa. Yesterday, she made an announcement; all French women can’t benefit from their maternity leave. In France, when you give birth, you can stay home for two months and you keep your salary, so you can take care of your baby. Yet, some moms can’t benefit from it, because they are freelance, self-employed, doctors etc… Mrs. Schiappa announced yesterday that a project was prepared in order to allow those mom to benefit from their maternity leave without losing money. Ok, fine, that’s a pretty good idea.
However, there’s a problem. If the French moms are helped, the French dads are totally forgotten. When their baby is born, French dad only got 3 days off to stay with their wives and baby. And during the 4 months after the birth of their baby, they are allowed to take 11 days to stay home with the family.
3 days + 11 days. That’s it. If there was a REAL and EFFECTIVE equality between men and women, dads would benefit from a paternal leave, paid as it is for moms. But it’s not the case. And that’s not fair. Nowadays, dads are implied in their kids education. They change diapers, they woke up at night to give the milk bottle, they support their wife. Why dads can’t stay home with their family? Who has decided that dads don’t need to spend time with their newborn because it’s a mom attitude? That is unfair.
First of all, moms needs to spend time with their babies, but they also need to go out, to see people. She’s not a full-time nanny, cook, housekeeper, teacher etc… If dads were there, moms could take care of themselves, and not feel like they live in a prison. After giving birth, moms are exhausted, they need to recover from it. Things would be easier if they were not alone at home.
Dads need, want to create a special bound with their babies. As a mom, imagine (or remember) how painful it is to leave your baby to go to work. It is heartbreaking. If you suffer from it, dads do suffer from it too. They love their kids as much as moms do. So, why on Earth can’t they stay at home like moms do if they want to? In an article published by Le Parisien today, it is said that 68% of French dads use their 11 days of paternity leave. So, yes, they care about their baby and their wife. They want to spend time with them, they want to stay home and share things, collecting memories, creating a bound with their newborn kid. That’s why a petition was launched today in order to ask the President and mrs. Schiappa to do things for French dads.
Equality means that X = Y, but in France, when it’s about gender matters, equality means + for women. Yes, it’s true that women suffered from men domination for centuries. But it doesn’t mean that today’s dads must pay for what their ancestors did. They are willing to balance things, they are willing to invest themselves in their family life. I do believe that something must be done, in order to establish an effective equality between men and women.