The quest for égalité: What's at stake for women in the French election

Updated 12:24 AM ET, Thu April 7, 2022

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(CNN)At his final campaign event before the first round of the 2022 French presidential election, Emmanuel Macron told a packed stadium that gender equality would be the "grand cause" of his second term if he won. It was also the grand cause of his first.

Gender equality has otherwise featured little in a campaign dominated by the war in Ukraine and the cost of living, but feminist organizations and academics are nonetheless working to highlight the major challenges women in the country face over the next five years, including femicide, gendered Islamophobia, pay inequality and precarious employment.
In his five years in office, Macron's government has racked up a number of policies that have made life easier for women, from making contraception free for under-25s to extending abortion term limits, boosting paternity leave and opening up fertility treatment to lesbian couples and single women for the first time. But French feminist organizations say gender equality causes still require serious structural change and major financing.