Methodological errors, lack of management, of overall strategy… Despite “undeniable mobilization”, progress towards equality is too slow, estimate the Wise Men in a report published this Thursday.
For the first time, the Court of Auditors is looking into a report on gender equality. A work carried out following a “citizen request made» on the online platform opened by the institution, in spring 2022. Expected by Internet users who pushed this theme, the conclusions of the Sages are severe regarding the shortcomings of State policy on what has nevertheless been erected “great national cause» during Emmanuel Macron’s first five-year term (2017-2022). In a 75-page document published this Thursday, the Court thus points out, pell-mell, “the absence of an overall national strategy“, a lack of “effective management“, of the “method errors“, as well as “limited progress“.
Announcement of 25 measures on November 25, 2017 to combat violence against women, followed by the 40 measures of the interministerial committee for equality between women and men of March 8, 2018, the 46 measures of the Grenelle on domestic violence of November 25 2019, a plan to combat female genital mutilation in 2019… The State’s initiatives in terms of equality between women and men over the past six years are (very) numerous, even taking on the appearance of inventory at Prévert. However, they lack a clear orientation and a general vision: if the Court recognizes a “undeniable mobilization“, this one mainly resembles “a succession of highlights and an overlapping of interministerial strategic plans without real coordination», underline the authors.
Beyond this grievance, the measures themselves are also singled out by the Sages of rue Cambon. “The management of the equality policy has been made difficult by shortcomings in the design of the measures, they write. In many cases, they are not based on a precise diagnosis of situations and needs, so that the achievement of a possible quantified objective does not allow one to conclude that a public policy has been successful. Furthermore, in many cases, the measures targeted were not accompanied by means, nor a timetable for implementation, nor results indicators, nor targets, which makes their evaluation impossible.“. It is difficult to achieve a result if it has not been clearly defined upstream, as well. As examples of measures that are difficult to follow, the Court of Auditors cites the promise of “guarantee access to care for all women in all territories in terms of contraception, perinatal care, prevention and identification of cardiovascular risks, cancer screening, etc.“, or even that of “improve maternity leave by making it more equitable“.
“Progress” in the fight against domestic violence
The State has not learned lessons from past mistakes, notes the Court of Auditors. In the new interministerial plan for equality between women and men (2023-2027) presented last Marchthe Sages find exactly the same gaps: “absence of a precise essment drawn up for each measure of the previous plans, measures not articulated with other plans, measures not evaluable, etc.“The magistrates therefore call for it to be quickly corrected, by declining this plan”into a measurable and evaluable roadmap (means, timetables, indicators, results, targets) subject to an effective interministerial monitoring schedule“.
However, everything is not to be thrown away, the mobilization of the State having made it possible to achieve some notable progress. In the area of the fight against domestic violence, the Court of Auditors highlights “advances” Since the 2019 Grenelle. Notably “regarding the protection of victims […] as an accompaniment to the authors», notes the report. The distribution of high-danger telephones or the increase in the number of emergency accommodation places for victims are therefore welcomed. However, “other measures requiring long-term investment to change mentalities, such as those relating to prevention focused on education, have been little implemented», Adds the document.
On professional equality, the other major public policy which has become a priority over time, the results are “mixed», Points out the document. In particular, the transition from a logic of means (the obligation to negotiate) to that of a logic of results (achieving a target under penalty of penalty), enshrined in the law, “is not yet noticeable», write the Sages. In the public service, the report highlights the difficulties in feminizing positions of responsibility.
Efforts therefore remain to be made so that the “great national cause» achieves real progress, not just some “limited progress“. The authors advise in particular to “strengthen data collection […] relating to the diagnosis of situations and needs”, and suggest “design an interministerial program for evaluating the actions carried out by the State and by the organizations financed by it“. The Court of Auditors summarizes its observations in a formula, harsh for the executive: “Progress in reducing inequalities has been slow, despite a growing legislative arsenal over several decades.»