French Bill Encourages Women in Politics

The French cabinet approved a proposal last week that promotes equal representation for women and men in regional and national politics. France currently ranks 17th out of the 25 members of the European Union for the representation of women in Parliamentary positions, reports Xinhua. Under the proposed law, any party that fails to have an equal number of men and women candidates for national elections will be fined, according to BBC. The law would also require towns of 3,500 or more to ensure that men and women are equally represented in high-ranking appointed positions. The French government anticipates that this new law will bring as many as 4,000 more women into politics, BBC reports.

Segolene Royal, the Socialist Party”s 2007 Presidential candidate and possible first female French president, has made gender one of her primary campaign issues, promising she would make violence against women her top issue if elected, according to AP. President Jacques Chirac supports the proposal to support women’s representation, saying, “This law is going to enable our democracy to grow. This law is going to push forward women”s rights,” reports BBC.
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BBC 11/28/06; Xinhua 11/29/06; AP 11/25/06

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