An association denounces the invisibilization of the names of women

A painting by Kamala Harris, Vice President of the United States ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP

“Let us return her name to Zézette, wife X”: banks and administrations must stop “making invisible” the names of women in favor of the sole name of their husbands, indignant this Monday the feminist association Georgette Sand, who started a petition.

By summoning the memory of the “Zézette” of “Father Christmas is a junk” – who in the 1979 play did not know how to fill out an administrative form – the association wants to “tackle the concept of” surname “whose uses still have a negative impact today on the transmission, security and economic emancipation of women, ”she explained in a press release.

“Symbolic and insidious negligence”

Married women should in theory have the choice to be called by their birth name or by that of their husband, but in practice the administration or the banks do not always respect this choice, and sometimes make them “disappear” for the benefit. the only name of the husband, denounce the activists of “Georgette Sand”.

The association cites the case of a woman who had to “threaten to leave her bank” to obtain her name on her bank mails, of another who “has not been able to change her married name since her divorce because her attending physician and her bank tell her that “it is like that” “, or another who is surprised that the tax authorities only send notices to her husband … while it is she who pays the property tax. Such misadventures are certainly more “symbolic and insidious negligence” than a “conspiracy”, said Ophélie Latil, the founder of the association.

Descendants in sight

But they are not trivial and can have unfortunate consequences, in the event of separation and even more in the event of domestic violence, she insists, referring to these women “who have no proof of address in their name”, or “Who cannot retrieve the checkbook from the joint account because their name is not on it”. The activists demand the “modernization of the forms of the tax administration which by omission erase one name in two”, a “reminder to the law of the banks”, as well as financial sanctions for the violators.

They also ask for better compliance with the law which, since 2005, has allowed parents to choose which surname to pass on to their child – that of the father, the mother or both. In practice, mothers who wish to pass their name on often face the reluctance of registrars, she said.

The petitioners also call for the law to be amended so that people born before 2005 can, if they wish, no longer bear the name of a hated father – and possibly pass that of their mother to their child.

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