Parity means that each gender is represented equally.
It is an instrument at the service of equality, which consists in ensuring the access of women and men to the same opportunities, rights, opportunities to choose, material conditions while respecting their specificities.
The notion of parity constitutes the foundation of policies to combat the disparities between women and men.
Several laws were promulgated in the name of this principle, to reduce disparities in terms of salaries, employment, education, representation of the women in political authorities and economic power.
For example, since 1850, a number of laws have contributed to make progress towards equality between women and men, such as:
- married women may dispose freely of their wages (1907);
- women have the right to vote and eligibility (1944);
- the preamble to the Constitution established the principle of equal opportunities between men and women (1946);
- the principle of equal pay between men and women for work of equal value was introduced (1972);
More recently, the laws of 6 June 2000, 10 July 2000, 11 April 2003, 31 January 2007, 28 February 2008 and 17 May 2013 tend to promote parity between women and men for electoral mandates and elective functions.
Finally, the Act of 4 August 2014 on genuine equality between women and men aims at combating inequalities between women and men in the private, professional and public spheres. It includes the reform of parental leave to include a period reserved for the second parent, strengthening the protection of women victims of violence, strengthening the competence of the Higher Audiovisual Council to ensure respect for women's rights in the media, or to transpose the provisions on bullying and sexual harassment in the defense code.