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Sociologie, féminisme, société et... plus si affinités. Un espace de réflexion, partage, diffusion, information.

Sociology, feminism, society... and more. A space for reflection, dialogue, dissemination, information.

“The life of men and women in Europe. A statistical portrait” … of gender inequalities in the European Union.

« The life of men and women in Europe. A statistical portrait » is a digital publication released by Eurostat a few months ago that aims at drawing a general portrait of the everyday life of women and men in European countries. It shows a mix of short texts, interactive visualisation tools, infographics, photos, etc., which objective is to point out that while differences can be observed in the life of European men and women, there are also similarities.

Three main sections are explored: living, growing, ageing; learning, working, earning; eating, surfing, shopping, socialising. Within each section, four main topics are briefly developed in order to give a more precise idea of the life conditions of men and women.

One of first interesting facts that we learn in the first section “Living, growing, ageing”, is that women and men are equally happy with their lives. That is, when measuring life satisfaction, men and women score practically the same: on a scale from 0 to 10, women aged 16 and over rated on average their life satisfaction as 7.0 and men 7.1. This can sound almost as a surprising fact since, as the report acknowledges itself while commenting such result, there are large differences in the life of women and men. What kind of differences? Let’s see.

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The facts behind data, the data behind facts. Hints for a reflection on informal employment in Central America and the Caribbean.

Over the last few months I have had the opportunity to travel around Central America. Inevitably, on many occasions, my attention was drawn to employment and decent work related issues. Although I was traveling for leisure, even as a tourist it wasn’t impossible to me not to wonder about the job situation of the many people whose life have crossed mine during my journey, people who have been providing me with different kind of services: bus rides, taxi rides, fresh cooked meals, table service, room service, tourist information, guided tours, etc. The list could be endless.

However, since the very beginning of my trip, there was this one type of job that has always left me quite puzzled. I even don’t know what the specific or technical qualification for that job is, but basically it concerns those people who are in charge of putting your groceries into plastic bags when you are about to pay at the cashier of a big supermarket you have been shopping at, so that you don’t have to do it yourself. Before, I had never seen something like this in Europe, at least not in any of the country I had traveled to. Courtesy or manners ask that you leave a small tip for the person who has been kindly packing your purchases, but there is no formal requirement to do so, and nothing is said about how much money this person’s service is worth. Supposing that this person is not necessarily employed on a formal basis, and if yes, his/her employment conditions and guarantees are probably very poor, the very essential question to me every time I was shopping at a supermarket was: is this person receiving a proper salary?

I couldn’t figure out if yes or no (and honestly I never dared to ask) but in a way I have always been doubtless about the fact that the income of this kind of workers depends in a very extensive way on the tips that daily customers leave them. Wondering about this specific case was for me the very beginning of a wide reflection on the general employment situation in this part or the word, and the concrete discovery that these are huge areas of the world where one word can almost describe it all. That world is: informality.

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Ne pas devenir mère : un inédit et/ou un interdit social pour les femmes d’aujourd’hui ?

Selon les époques et les mœurs, la maternité a toujours été pour des raisons diverses et variées au centre de débats sociétaux très controversés. La preuve en est le fait qu’encore aujourd’hui la capacité des femmes à procréer, ainsi que les attentes  sociales envers leur supposée prédisposition à être mères, font aussi bien l’objet de politiques publiques, de revendications qui viennent de la société civile, des attentions de la presse, et des préoccupations de l’Église catholique, pour ne citer que quelques exemples. Si la maternité se présente pour certaines personnes comme un choix, comme un droit pour d’autres, comme une contrainte sociale, ou comme un impératif religieux pour d’autres encore, en donnant lieu à une multitude de positions vis-à-vis des questions éthiques, sociales, juridiques, d’égalité, etc., qu’elle soulève, une autre réalité commence à faire surface de nos jours: le désir de ne pas avoir d’enfant.

Cette réalité reste loin d’être une évidence, et les femmes qui prennent la décision de ne pas devenir mère doivent trouver leur place dans une société où, malgré les tendances individualistes, les valeurs familiales et le climat nataliste continuent de dominer la structuration sociale des parcours de vie. Cet écart à l’injonction à la maternité s’impose donc aujourd’hui comme une sorte d’inédit et d’interdit social pour les femmes qui l’embrassent, tant la norme reste celle  du « faire famille ».

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« Women against feminism », l’ennesimo segnale di un femminismo in crisi ?

Circa un paio di mesi fa esplodeva sul web una polemica intorno al fenomeno delle « women against feminism » : diverse ragazze americane si fotograno mentre tengono in mano un foglio su cui si puo’ leggere perchè queste giovani donne pensano che la causa femminista non sia più di attualità. Sui social networks di mezzo mondo gli animi si infiammano, chi è dalla loro parte, chi è decisamente contro. Nel marasma di voci e di reazioni, due posizioni si sono a mio avviso distinte nel panorama italiano in quanto meritevoli di interesse.

La prima è presentata in un articolo della giornalista e studiosa Camilla Gaiaschi, pubblicato sul sito la 27esima Ora del Corriere :#womenagainstfeminism? Due, tre cose che vorrei dire alle mie coetanee

La seconda è presentata in un post pubblicato sul blog Comunicazione di Genere : #IDONTNEEDFEMINISMBECAUSE : IL MASCHILISMO NON HA GENERE. E’ POSSIBILE FARE AUTOCRITICA?

La sottigliezza di due questi contributi risiede nel fatto che sottolineano una necessità importante che è quella del dialogo, della riflessione, del rinnovamento. Al di là delle possibili reazioni di collera, di nervosismo, di smarrimento anche (pensieri del tipo « ma queste ragazze in che mondo vivono??? »), cercare di capire « women against feminism » significa mettere ulteriormente l’accento sul carattere fondamentale di questa neccesità.

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Plongée au cœur des études de genre

Ce reportage de la Wikiradio du CNRS vous emmène au cœur du premier congrès « Études de genre en France » qui s’est tenu à Lyon du 3 au 5 septembre. Organisée par l’Institut du genre du CNRS et des universités, cette manifestation a réuni plus de 300 intervenants dans quasiment tous les champs de la connaissance.

Ecoutez l’intégralité du reportage en cliquant ici

Le journal du CNRS a aussi publié à cette occasion un entretien avec Pascal Moliner, professeure de psychologie sociale et directrice adjointe de l’Institut du genre du CNRS, qui souligne l’originalité de ce congrès et l’importance des études de genre. L’article est accessible en cliquant ici

Pour plus d’informations sur le 1er Congrès d’Études de genre en France :

The 9th European Feminist Research Conference – Sex & Capital, 3 – 6 June 2015, University of Lapland, Rovaniemi

The 9th European Feminist Research Conference (EFRC 2015) – Sex & Capital, will be organized at the University of Lapland 3 – 6 June 2015. The event is organized by the Faculty of Education together with Atgender organization.

Recent economic crises and their worldwide impacts have highlighted the relationship between global politics and the economy. Indeed, economic discourses reign supreme and it looks like capitalism has won, which raises feminist concern. The power of economics has become palpable: the scramble for natural resources has put the multi-ethnic Arctic on centre stage; new sectors – education and care among them – are being commercialized; and trafficking in women and the consumption and commodification of sexed bodies appear in new, intensified forms. Then again, issues that feminist research and politics have promoted are now realities for a large number of women: multicultural life, diversification of family forms and sexual identities, and the women’s economy. Despite this progress, the need for equality politics and feminist activism has not diminished.

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InGRID Summer School « The gender pay gap revisited – causes and consequences of horizontal and vertical gender inequalities on the labour market »

Summer School
The gender pay gap revisited – causes and consequences of horizontal and vertical gender inequalities on the labour market

7-11 July 2014
University of Amsterdam/AIAS, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

The Summer School aims to provide participants with an overview of the causes and consequences of the gender pay gap from a cross-national perspective. Moreover, the focus is on increasing students’ understanding of the methodological challenges in measuring, analysing and comparing the gender pay gap as well as in applying gender-relevant wage analyses (across countries). 
Therefore, the Summer School combines morning sessions on substantive topics with methodological workshops in the afternoon. It also encourages participants to present their own research and fosters feedback and exchange with senior colleagues.



Application form:

Call for applications available here : Call_SummerSchool_PayGap (2)

A short report of the event is available here