New articles « Gender discrimination in housing ? » and « Midwives in Europe »

Two new articles have been published in English on the online Encyclopedia : « Gender discrimination in housing ? » by Daniele Voldman, and « Midwives in Europe » written by Nathalie Sage-Pranchère.

Gender discrimination in housing ? : Despite greater legal and political equality between men and women, gender discrimination in housing continues today. Even though the majority of homeless people are still men, women continue to face more difficulty than men in occupying healthy and comfortable housing. This discrimination is primarily based on inequality in matters of salary and employment opportunity, notably full-time employment. It also stems from enduring traditions and long-standing legal distinctions in which representations of femininity and masculinity have had an impact on housing availability and conditions for women and men. For example, during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, inhabitants were rarely thought of as being women, as though only men, whether single or as the head of a family, could purchase or rent their housing. Despite what one may think, these representations have not disappeared from public housing policies or among private landlords.

Midwives in Europe: Between 1750 and the 1850s, European midwives underwent a process of professionalization through scientific knowledge and schooling. Once educated, they obtained a legal monopoly over assisting birth to the detriment of traditional midwives, although without causing the disappearance of the latter, until the first half of the twentieth century. The implementation of a policy of widespread education for degree-holding practitioners enjoying state protection enabled the welcome reduction of maternal and infant mortality. In addition, it ensured the continued existence of the unique character of this strictly feminine medical profession (until the 1980s) and field of intervention: giving birth. The medicalization of childbirth which it led to, supplemented the function of caring for mothers and newborns, without substituting it altogether. The transfer of most deliveries to hospital establishments during the second half of the twentieth century reduced their visibility, but did not diminish the essential role these practitioners play in monitoring pregnancy and childbirth.


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