The French Cabinet adopted draft legislation intended to increase women’s participation in public life by asking political parties to put equal numbers of women and men on candidate rosters for local, regional and European elections and penalizing parties that do not comply by cutting government funds.
The French government revised the Constitution in June to include the principle that women and men should have equal access to political candidacy. Currently, women currently make up only 10% of France’s parliament. Socialist Prime Minister Lionel Jospin declared this draft legislation “a major reform in the political life of the country.”
Women’s rights advocates in France criticized the proposed bill saying that it would not prevent women’s names from being listed at the bottom of voting lists and therefore potentially overlooked.