Dozens of army wives marched in Paris on Saturday over the "deplorable working conditions" in the French military, as reported by Le Figaro.
"When my husband came back from an operation outside Mali and told me about his living conditions, I did not imagine that it could be so hard and precarious. It's shameful, they're lodged in deplorable conditions, badly fed," a 26-year-old army wife said, wearing a blue, white and red ribbon around her wrist. She also said that her husband was mobilized again on Saturday, along with 7500 other soldiers, as part of Operation Sentinel in the war-torn African nation.
Many in the march actually traveled from all over France in order to protest on Boulevard des Invalides, near the Ministry of the Army as part of the "Angry Military Women's Movement."
This movement, born following the announcement of army budget cuts and the resignation of General Pierre de Villiers, constitutes of nearly 6,000 people on Facebook.
Another protester, of age 32, said that the military's payment system is also highly inefficient, and that soldiers are not payed consistently.
"This system makes our day-today lives difficult. We hve to constrantly monitor the accounts, check that there are no errors and, if necessary, engage in lengthy proceedings to resolve issues."
"Payments vary from month to month; you never know what can happen. It's difficult to project. " a co-founder of the movement, confirmed. "Families are at the receiving end of this. […] Many are thinking of divorce because they cannot do it anymore."
"We are all alone facing situations that we can no longer manage"
A 25-year-old from Alsace hopes that more resources will be given to the army. She regrets that families have to buy equipment with their own money. "The army supplies are old and obsolete, so my husband is obliged to equip himself. Sleeping bags, cloths, boots... That's about 200 euros a month."
Through this event, the groups aims to sensitize the public but also put pressure on the political sphere.
"The soldiers put their lives at risk every day but have no recognition, they have less and less means, they are exhausted. We would like to be asked to sit on the table to take into consideration what our families are experiencing on a daily basis.The movement is already planning its next demonstration for the end of September.