Petition calls for administrative equality for men and women

In France, whether or not women take their husband's name, administrative letters often mention the man, and only him, in their mail. A petition wants to change that.

A petition addressed to the Minister Delegate in charge of Equality between Women and Men, Diversity and Equality calls for parity at the administrative level. Indeed, on official documents it is very common to see only the name of the husband. Or to read "Madame" followed by the first and last name of the husband. The Curiosity Club collective launched this petition on February 18, 2021 after collecting testimonies from women who tell what happened to them because of this anomaly.

A woman, for example, says she is scandalized by a situation experienced at the notary: on the act of buying her house, she can only be the wife of her husband. Another says that she takes care of all the administration herself, which the institutions nevertheless persist in putting in the name of her husband. What was not her surprise the day she wanted to provide proof of address: without any paper in her name, she had to ask her husband for a certificate saying that he was accommodating her free of charge … in the house purchased together ten years earlier! This phenomenon is, however, an old holdover from a time when women were eternal minors, passing from the tutelage of their father to that of their husband.

An old patriarchal survival

It was not until 1965 that a married woman had the right to co-manage property in her marriage, to open a bank account and to work without her husband's permission. However, in the documents, little has changed. Journalist Titiou Lecoq has documented the phenomenon of this "patronymic patriarchy", which is more marked in France than elsewhere in Europe. Here, by default, a woman who gets married keeps her birth name, but the tradition remains tenacious and most couples take one and the same name: that of Monsieur, Madame making a move to change her original surname. Whereas in Greece, for example, women who marry do not change their names.

Today, women can no longer be seen only as "" wives of" and live, symbolically, in the shadow of her husband. It is therefore necessary to change these. forms, especially as this kind of reform seems uncomplicated, for very real expected benefits. For this, the petition calls for "the adaptation of texts, contracts, software and the training of civil servants. We ask for the establishment of controls in private companies, banks, insurance companies and energy suppliers so that a woman will never again be see erased from a file. We ask for civic education courses at school to explain that names are given, taken or added whether one is a man or a woman. We ask that one stop erasing our identity as soon as we become a married woman and respect our choices. " This Thursday, February 25, 2021, she has already almost fulfilled her goal.

Mathilde Wattecamps

Missions: Mathilde is an expert in subjects related to women's rights and health. Addicted to Instagram and Twitter, never stingy with a good …