Women's rights are being curtailed more and more in many countries. "Very different groups are pursuing the same goal," explains Lucie Daniel from the organization Equipop and author of a report presented on Monday by the Fondation Jean Jaurès. Far-right organisations, fundamentalist religious movements and conservative groups were among the forces restricting the right to abortion or the right to go to school, the report says.
In its history, the women's movement has often taken one step forward and then two steps back, say the authors of the study, which looks at the situation in several countries.
As expected, the situation for women in Afghanistan is particularly dramatic: girls there are no longer allowed to go to school or university, which increases the risk of sexual violence and forced marriage. In one province women are forbidden to see male doctors. "Since the women are also no longer allowed to study, it boils down to the fact that in the end they can no longer be treated at all," says the study.
But even in Italy there have been "signals of regression" since the election of right-wing politician Giorgia Meloni. Meloni is pursuing a "natalist policy" that primarily grants women the role of "housewife and mother". In many regions it is difficult to terminate a pregnancy, since on average 70 percent of doctors refuse to do so for reasons of conscience.
"There was a sigh of relief after the recent elections in the US and Brazil, but the bad influence of movements that want to curtail women's rights is still very strong," Daniel said.
The authors of the study call on the French government to provide more money to women's rights groups and to make the fight for women's rights part of their diplomacy.