By Elliot Paul

Elliot Paul, an American journalist, first walked into rue de l. a. Huchette in the summertime of 1923. ‘There,’ he wrote, ‘I discovered Paris.’ His biography of the road brings to existence a solid of charaters, from the stately M. de Malancourt to l’Hibou the tramp, from the culturally precocious Hyacinthe to a bevy of prostitutes. Their friendships and enmities, tradition and lifestyle are woven right into a tapestry as compelling as a singular. but because the chance of the second one global conflict grows and the political polarisation among correct and left intensifies, it endows their quiet, heroic lives with a sad poignancy. The final Time I observed Paris is among the nice graphics of an unforgettable urban.

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The position, within the hierarchy of government, of a particular ministerial structure responsible for women’s affairs has not necessarily influenced the capacity of the politicians and civil servants working within it to advance women’s position and employment and other rights. So, for example, Nicole Pasquier’s Délégation à la Condition Féminine (1976–8) had less clout than did the same type of structure headed by Hélène Gisserot (1986–8). This may be explained by the fact that Pasquier seemed distinctly less interested in women’s issues than Gisserot which in turn impacted on the level of resources that each of these leaders could garner and how much influence they could exert on ministerial colleagues in other government departments.

For this reason, this chapter focuses on policy which addresses the direct hurdles women face in the labour market and workplace although indirect hurdles will be referred to where relevant. The examination of equal employment policy is preceded by an overview of women’s participation in paid employment. Women in paid work French women’s participation in the labour force has a long history. Several studies have documented this participation and its expansion over several generations from both historical (for example, Roux 1966; 20 Gender and Policy in France Stewart 1989; Sullerot 1968; Toutain 1963) and contemporary perspectives (Batagliola 2004; Huet 1982; Maruani 1998, 2006, among others).

As above. As above. 5. Secrétariat d’Etat à l’Emploi Féminin Headed by: Nicole Pasquier 1978– 1981 Political office reporting to the Secretary of State for Employment. Raise awareness of women’s employment situation and promote equal employment policy. As above. 6. Ministère Délégué à la Condition Féminine Headed by: Monique Pelletier 1978– 1980 Political office reporting to the Prime Minister. Raise awareness of women’s position and promote the advancement of women’s status alongside family values.

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