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Paris is fined $110,000 for appointing 'too many women'

Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo said she was happy to announce that her city was levied a fine for having too many women in senior government positions.

Paris is fined $110,000 for appointing 'too many women'
Image Source: 131st IOC Session Lima - 2024 & 2028 Olympics Hosts Announcement. LIMA, PERU - SEPTEMBER 13. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

Anne Hidalgo, the Mayor of Paris, has been slapped with a $110,000 fine for bringing in 11 women to fill 16 top city jobs as that is apparently "too many women," The New York Times reports. The Mayor has since deemed the decision "absurd." "Far too feminist," she remarked with a hint of sarcasm. The fine was filed under a 2012 law aimed at correcting the gender imbalances at the time. The law technically mandates that no more than 60 percent of one gender be appointed to top civil service positions in a certain year. In 2019, it was amended so that there would be no fines should a disproportionate number of men or women be hired in a given year, so far as the overall gender balance was maintained.


Mayor Hidalgo celebrated the fine at a Paris City Council meeting on Tuesday after learning of it last week. "Today I am going to rejoice that we have been sentenced to a fine," she affirmed. "It is with joy, shared with many others, that I learned last week that the city of Paris had to pay a 90,000 euro fine." She added that the fine gave France an opportunity to confront the systemic problems that exist across the country with regard to gender equity. For instance, in 2018, women comprised only about 31 percent of all top civil service jobs. Hidalgo herself is the first woman to lead the city’s government. She was elected in 2014 (and even broke the same law in 2018 when she did the hiring).


Ever since she was elected, however, Paris has made immense progress in correcting historic gender imbalances. Across the city government, 47 percent of senior management positions are held by women. "Yes, we must promote women with determination and vigor because the gap, everywhere in France, is still very big," Hidalgo stated. "And so, yes, to promote and one day reach gender equality, we must pick up the pace and ensure that more women are appointed than men." The Mayor belongs to the Socialist party and was re-elected this year for a second term.


One of the main pillars of her re-election campaign was gender equity. Hidalgo declared she would turn Paris into a "feminist capital" by extending services for women and girls, including in schooling, health, and support for victims of domestic violence. Her approach to gender justice stands in stark comparison to French President Emmanuel Macron. Though he has earlier claimed to make women's rights a top priority of his government, many believe his actions, particularly those to protect victims of domestic violence, have been "too timid."


A potential Presidential contender herself, Mayor Hidalgo vowed to personally deliver the fine amount to the Ministry that levied it. The minister, Amélie de Montchalin, called for the fine paid by Paris for 2018 to be used to finance concrete actions to promote women in the public service. She affirmed in a post uploaded to Twitter, "I invite you to the ministry to evoke them!"


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