The gilets jaunes movement has brought a lot of marginalized groups in France to the streets to share their stories and their demands. But arguably, none of these groups is more disenfranchised economically than working class French women.
The minimum wage in France currently sits just shy of €1500 per month, or around $1600. By comparison, the average Parisian one-bedroom apartment costs €1,183. Which means that there’s little left over for working women to get by on, and that’s if they don’t have children. (Not every woman, obviously, resides in Paris, but the point stands as well, if not more, for women in the countryside where wages tend to be lower.) Working single moms take the brunt of this wage gap, often resorting to moving in with family members or sacrificing everyday necessities like heating to the category of unaffordable luxuries.
Though French president Emmanuel Macron has recently bumped up the minimum wage by €100 per month, this will only go so far in helping women and families make ends meet. But these ladies aren’t just sitting around waiting for things to get better— they will be in the streets as long as it takes to make sure they don’t end up on them.