Laura Cahier

From discriminatory immigration policies toward the development of racialized feminist movements in France: the example of Maghrebin women immigrant

My research project focuses on the racialization of the demands for gender equality in France, through the example of women immigrants from Maghreb. Indeed, since the 1970s, discriminatory immigration policies have been implemented by the French government and they have strongly weakened women immigrants’ rights while reinforcing gender and racial stereotypes, especially against Maghrebin women. Women immigrants suffer from bi-dimensional discriminations, both compared to men immigrants (gender discriminations) and to “French” native women (racial discriminations). Because of this particular status, they have hardly found their claims represented and defended by the mainstream – “white” – feminist movements in France. Whereas feminism is hardly ever analyzed through the race lens in modern French sociology, my research project aims to deconstruct this movement and introduce the race variable in order to understand the diversity of claims for gender equality in France. My project also furtherly questions the racialization – and so the particularization – of claims that are said to be universal (women’s rights). Is the racialization of the claims for women’s rights creating further racial stereotypes? Are there some intersections between “white” and “colored” feminism? To what extent can racialized feminist movements achieve their goals in today’s context of growing resentment toward immigrants in France?