a great cause with small effects?

The one who will give the most severe assessment of the actions of President Macron will in fact be … candidate Macron! It’s a paradox, but here’s what you need to understand in the words of Emmanuel Macron! On Monday, March 7, he was a guest of the program “Face aux françaises” on the LCI channel. He took the opportunity to recall the initiatives taken by the government in this Great Cause. But he also said this: “Will we change society in five years? No. That is why I have made the decision to commit myself for another five years and say: the great thing is the next five years, if French men and women trust me, it will still be gender equality, because the work is not yet finished.

“The work is not finished“, this is so far from over that, if Emmanuel Macron were re-elected, gender equality would also be a great reason for his second five-year term. However, this is a simple rhetorical rule. What we need to confirm, even toughen, is that there was neither obvious, nor applied, a way to admit, without saying it, that the results of this first mandate were unsatisfactory.

Can we really change society in five years? Yes we can. And we even should when we use such expressions as “great national cause”. In 2002, President Jacques Chirac declared that the fight against insecurity on the roads would be the responsibility of the whole country. Five years later, as well as voluntary and unpopular measures, the number of deaths on the roads has decreased by more than 40%. During this period, 10,000 deaths were avoided.

Conversely, between 2017 and 2022, the number of women who died from being hit by a spouse or ex-spouse did not decrease significantly. As for the gender pay gap, Marlene Schiappa, Delegate Minister for Citizenship and former Secretary of State for Gender Equality, says it best: “Really, I think it’s a long-term fightdeclares Marlene Schiappa, Tuesday 8 March on the Franceinfo website, and on which there is urgency. The World Economic Forum has calculated that if we do nothing beyond what we are already doing around the world, we will achieve economic equality between women and men in 2234. Yes, even more stringent measures are urgently needed.” Stronger action is urgently needed. Fortunately, this subject was not then a great national affair! Otherwise, we might start to wonder why not take them sooner!

However, there are areas in which the actions of the executive branch have been effective. The various governments were more or less equal, and the number of women in the National Assembly increased significantly. This is indeed data put forward by the President of the Republic. But this is exactly what Emmanuel Macron answers when he is pointed out that key positions are always occupied by men. “For a long time, for five years, I had a general secretary of national defense, a woman, and now the general secretary of the government. This is the first position in our administration. Sorry, but these are proofs When the Minister of Defense, the General Secretary of the Government are women: it shows you that this is not just for the gallery.

The Minister of the Armed Forces and the General Secretary of the Government are women. It’s right. In rhetoric, this is called argument by example. It’s nothing on the scale of evidence! But it doesn’t cost much either. If Emmanuel Macron wanted to be a little more strict, he could use the enumeration argument, recalling, as was the case on Tuesday March 8th Liberation, that three of the four sovereign ministers, the President of the National Assembly, Secretary General Elisha, the presidents of the two parliamentary groups of the LREM, LREM Delegate General, current prime minister and previous prime minister are all men! And, if he wanted to go one step further in terms of strictness, he could use an argument based on aggregated data, as one of the French women who interrogated him did, reminding him that 80% of GVT cabinet members are men.

All his policies are not a failure. This would not be true. On the other hand, one may wish that words retain their meaning. The great work of the five years must bear fruit within the five years. Otherwise it failed. Or maybe she was something else. At best, just a priority in public action. At worst, purely political communication.

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