French Capital Paris Set To Elect Its First Ever Female Mayor

anne-hidalgo-nathalie-kosciusko-morizet

Women making history in world politics! For the first time ever, Paris, France is about to elect a female mayor, chosen from two female candidates (another first).

The candidates are Anne Hidalgo and Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, who will face two rounds of elections on March 23 and 30. This election has huge significance beyond just the feminism aspect. The City of Lights is facing an economic and housing crisis and one of these women will have a lot of work on her hands to get the city back into shape.

But hey, when has any politician, male or female, ever inherited an easy term?

There’s been a lot of talk in the international news about the two women, and we thought we’d share some interesting facts about these women with our readers to showcase the giant leaps women are making around the world.

At the time of writing this, Anne Hidalgo is a favorite to win and seems to be in the lead so far. Her current job is the Deputy Mayor of Paris (and has been for the past 13 years), and she is originally from Spain, and migrated to France when she was little with her family. Anne is a member of the country’s socialist party.

The 54 year-old mother of two’s campaign slogan is “Oser Paris!” meaning “A Paris That Dares!” which seems very in line with the fact that this city is moving into a new era of politics marked by its first female mayor.

Anne-Hidalgo

Her contender, Nathalie, is a member of France’s center-right political party, Union for a Popular Movement. She has previously served as a Mayor in the Parisian suburb of Longjumeau for five years. She is more commonly known as former French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s protegee having been his spokeswoman.

The 40 year-old engineer and also has two sons, and was Paris born and raised. Her campaign slogan is “Une nouvelle énergie pour les Parisiens” which when translated means “A new energy for Parisians”. It seems both of these women are acknowledging the unique dynamic they are bringing to the French capital.

According to the Guardian: “official figures show that 80% of French women (compared with 40% in 1962) are working in 2014, and that 56% of students are female, and despite parity laws, women are far from equally represented in politics, making the Paris race something of an anomaly. Only 27% of MPs in the Assemblée Nationale are women and only 22% of representatives in the Sénat, the upper house.”

The general thought of women in Paris is that having a female mayor won’t necessarily change much for women in the city specifically, but it will make a strong statement symbolically. There are other major cities throughout France who have already elected female Mayors, so perhaps it is making more of a general European and worldwide statement to see the advancement of women in politics.

The other great thing about both of these women, is that they are being recognized for their policies and leanings, rather than their gender. They are as passionate about women’s issues (childcare, healthcare, maternity leave etc) as they are the bigger issues which ned more attention in Paris.

Here’s to women making great leaps and bounds in a number of sectors across the world. Perhaps bringing more female faces to the forefront of industries such as politics will make it easier in countries where having a woman in power is still considered an anomaly. Perhaps society is ready to have more women lead for the different approaches they bring to the table.

Viva la France!

nathalie-kosciusko-morizet

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