Sunday, 19 May 2024
WorldInternational Women's Rights Day: tensions in Paris, thousands of demonstrators in France

International Women’s Rights Day: tensions in Paris, thousands of demonstrators in France

On the occasion of International Women’s Rights Day, a feminist collective and unions encouraged French women to strike this Friday, March 8. Demonstrations are underway in Paris and across the country, mobilizing thousands of people.

The essential

  • This Friday March 8, 2024 celebrates International Women’s Rights Day.
  • A call for a strike was launched by the #grèvefeministe collective, unions and numerous organizations. French women are encouraged to strike all day both at work and at home. Nearly 200 mobilizations are planned this Friday in France.
  • The largest demonstration took place in Paris. Leaving early in the afternoon, the procession brought together thousands of people wishing to defend women’s rights and equality between men and women.
  • The Parisian procession was disrupted by some tensions. It was not feminists who objected, but pro-Palestinian activists and the Jewish Defense League, whose members formed a security cordon around pro-Israeli activists.


19:42 – Gabriel Attal’s poignant tribute to his mother

While welcoming the winners of the “101 women entrepreneurs” competition to Matignon, Gabriel Attal spoke. The opportunity to point out the inequalities that his sisters faced during their careers, but also to pay a beautiful tribute to his mother, “who had not studied and had not worked to be able to raise [ses enfants] and who found herself single at 32 with four children in her care”. After finding a job as an assistant editor, she “ended up creating her own business”. And the Prime Minister launched to the applause of his audience: “Well done mom, if you listen to me!”

18:41 – “Who runs the world? Girls”: Gabriel Attal poses with the entrepreneurs

The Prime Minister received the winners of the first class of the “101 entrepreneurs” competition at Matignon this Friday. At the start of the evening, Gabriel Attal posted a photo surrounded by these women on X, accompanied by the message “Who rules the world? Girls”, taken from a song by Beyoncé.

17:43 – Gabriel Attal announces “a precise salary range” in job offers

At the end of the day of mobilization, Gabriel Attal announced that the government was working on “the publication of a precise salary range in job offers to provide transparency and prevent women from being treated less well”, according to Franceinfo . The pay gaps between men and women are, in fact, part of the demands.

17:39 – The “We will live” collective exfiltrated from the procession for safety

Activists who are members of the anti-semitism and pro-Israeli collective “We Will Live” were exfiltrated from the procession of the demonstrations for women’s rights in Paris, reports The Parisian. “The police exfiltrated us to protect us” explained Sarah Aizenman, member of the collective, to the newspaper after the tensions observed between the collective and pro-Palestinian activists. “The police then suggested that we return there at the end of the procession but our activists are terrified,” she added.

17:03 – Tensions intensify in the Parisian procession

Tensions took place in the procession of the Parisian demonstration between activists from the association “We will live”, created after the attack by Hamas in Israel on October 7 to denounce the rapes and sexual violence committed by the latter, and pro-Palestinian activists. The BRAV-M intervened as tensions intensified and ultimately exfiltrated the activists of this collective from the demonstration.

16:53 – Who are the Rosies, these women in blue present in the demonstrations

Easily identifiable with their blue jumpsuits, these women present in this Friday’s demonstrations but not only, belong to the feminist collective Les Rosies. The activists of this collective were also present during the retirement demonstrations in spring 2023 as well as other demonstrations which then took place until those of March 8, 2024. Blue jumpsuit, makeup, music and choreography are their trademark and have built their identity in reference to Rosie the Riveter, feminist icon of American pop culture. This group defines itself as a “joyful collective” and non-partisan. In March 2023, Youlie Yamamoto, spokesperson and co-founder of the movement, told Libération: “We created the Rosies in 2019, when Edouard Philippe declared that women would be the big winners from pension reform. It was one sentence too many!” The Rosies continue to host the various events in France for March 8.

16:31 – Several hundred people in the streets of Dijon

As reported by France Bleu Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, several hundred people, women and men of all ages, gathered in the town. Demonstrators led the march with a choreography to the song “Free from desire” by Gala, the refrain of which was taken up by the crowd. The media adds that unions like CGT or Solidaires 21 are also present in the procession.

16:18 – In Toulouse, the demonstration is in full swing

In Toulouse, the procession continues to parade through the streets with many demonstrators.

4:07 p.m. – In Rennes the demonstration started at 4 p.m.

The numerous Rennes demonstrators gathered on the Charles-de-Gaulle esplanade. As indicated by Ouest-France, the procession set off towards Place de la République. Before departure, the various feminist collectives present in the Breton capital such as the Kaune collective, Les Travaileuses de la Terre, or the feminist collective Nous Tous 35 spoke from the top of a float installed on the esplanade. The Nous Tous 35 collective declared in particular: “We call on people to not give up to continue to gain ground through feminist struggles.”

15:53 ​​– The CGT calls for sanctions to fight against wage inequality

At the Paris demonstration, CGT president Sophie Binet said sanctions are necessary for companies that do not “respect” wage parity. She regrets that “there is no sanction for companies which continue to pay women less than men”. She also deplored the lack of “sanctions for companies that do not have a prevention plan for gender-based and sexual violence”.

15:32 – Palestinian flags present in the Paris procession

Amid the purple signs and flags of the Parisian procession, a few Palestinian flags also joined the demonstration. It appears that slight tensions occurred between demonstrators.

15:04 – In Lyon, the demonstration parades through the streets

Under a gray sky, the procession of demonstrators, very numerous, is marching in the streets of Lyon.

2:56 p.m. – In the Parisian procession, the president of the CFDT calls for reducing the wage gap

At the heart of the Paris demonstration, the president of the CFDT union, Marylise Léon, declared on the union’s X account: “We are mobilized because there is still a 24% #salary gap between men and women. (… ) We must overhaul the professional equality index to include companies with fewer than 50 employees.”

2:50 p.m. – The Bordeaux procession parades through the city center

As indicated by France 3 Aquitaine, the Bordeaux demonstration is underway in the streets of the city center which brings together many demonstrators.

2:35 p.m. – Protesters gather at Place Gambetta in Paris

Little by little, Place Gambetta in the 20th arrondissement of the capital filled with demonstrators for the departure of the procession which set off at 2 p.m.



March 8 is an annual meeting for all women in the world. If every year International Women’s Rights Day is a date marked by numerous demonstrations in France as elsewhere, March 8, 2024 promises to be special.

The #grèvefeministe collective launched a call for a strike on “work, domestic tasks and consumption” in mid-February. In order to highlight the inequalities that women are victims of, the collective wants them to stop all activity this Friday. The collective’s call was followed and taken up by five unions (CFDT, CGT, UNSA, FSU and Solidaires) and more than 160 mobilizations are planned this Friday throughout France.

In Paris, a demonstration is planned for 2 p.m. at Place Gambetta in the 20th arrondissement towards Place de la Bastille. In Lyon, demonstrators are invited from 12:30 p.m. on Place Jean-Macé for a picnic and a sign workshop before the start of the demonstration scheduled for 2 p.m. For the city of Marseille, two gatherings are planned. The first will start at 10 a.m. at Place du Général de Gaulle and the second will leave at 2 p.m. from the stairs of Saint-Charles station. In the north, in Lille, the procession will set off at 1:30 p.m. from Place de la République. Other cities are also affected. Like Bordeaux where demonstrators are expected at 12 p.m. at Place de la Victoire. Or Toulouse with a demonstration planned for 2 p.m. at Place du Capitole, with also a sign workshop from 11 a.m.

IVG in the spotlight this March 8, 2024

But this year, March 8 is accompanied by another highly anticipated symbolic event: the official entry of the freedom to resort to abortion into the French Constitution. After the vote on the constitutional law this Monday March 4 by the Parliament gathered in Congress in Versailles, a sealing ceremony is planned this Friday on Place Vendôme, in Paris.

This event will take place at the Ministry of Justice and will be open to the public. On his X account this Monday, President Emmanuel Macron met the public at 12 p.m., Place Vendôme. A speech by the president is expected at 12:10 p.m. according to BFMTV, before the start of the ceremony scheduled for 12:40 p.m. As the media indicates, all parliamentarians were invited to this ceremony led by the president and the Minister of Justice, Eric Dupond-Moretti.

The idea of ​​dedicating one day a year to the fight for women’s rights dates back to the 19th century. But it was not until 1977 that this project came to fruition. That year, the UN officially established an international day dedicated to women’s rights where events and demonstrations in their favor were organized throughout the world. The origin of March 8 in particular remains quite unclear. In France, the first “March 8” dates back to 1975, when the Women’s Liberation Movement (MLF) gathered to demonstrate against International Women’s Year. A concept put in place by the UN but poorly received by many feminist activists who see it as a recovery of their cause. This date will finally be officially chosen in 1982 after the MLF’s request to President François Mitterrand.

Popular content

Latest article

More article