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I'm back from a bit of a summer break, diving into several new projects in the coming weeks. Stay tuned for a series of reports on commemorating the First World War in the Somme in northern France (including a guy who is so obsessed with the objects dug up in his village that he's dug his own trenches in the back yard of his cafe!). Also, the future of industrial farming in France, and the fight over the so-called "1000-cow farm".

In the meantime, here is a series that aired on RFI in August, for you to discover if you didn't hear it, or listen to again if you did:

Wo/men's work


These are five profiles of women doing so-called "men's work" and men doing "women's work" in France. I wanted to call this series "The 2%" because several of the people I talked to said that only 2% of their gender was represented in their profession. But that was difficult to verify... In any case, men and women are equal under the law in France, but women still earn an average 20% less than men, and certain professions are still very much dominated by one gender or the other. And as these people demonstrate, those who do the opposite are very dedicated to their work.
In the male world of mechanics Only Girls can fix your car

Car mechanics tend to be male but a Paris-area garage is trying to change that by hiring women to appeal to women.
For women in construction, a deliberate choice

Naima Atigui is starting her own construction business, with help from a women-only training program.
Rare male midwife warns profession at risk

Nicolas Dutriaux says the gender balance of his profession has lead to its marginalization.
Battling the weight of history as a female conductor

Conducting is a surprisingly male world. Elizabeth Askren Brie has fought sexism throughout her career.
Stay-at-home dad gets questions no one would ever ask a woman

A stay-at-home dad in France is unusual. And this one blogs!
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Baaa


To end this newsletter, here's an aural taste of what I was up to on my break in August.
(Click on the link to listen to the audio file)

Some of these sheep produce milk for the famous Roquefort cheese!
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