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Paris Mayor Denounces Fine for Appointing Too Many Women to Top Positions

By Lyndsey Matthews

Dec 16, 2020

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Anne Hidalgo became the first female mayor of Paris when she took office in 2014.

Photo by Frederic Legrand - COMEO / Shutterstock

Anne Hidalgo became the first female mayor of Paris when she took office in 2014.

The Civil Service Ministry fined Paris City Hall for breaching a law requiring a minimum of 40 percent of appointments for each gender.

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Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo denounced a fine against City Hall—for appointing too many women to top positions—as “unfair” and “absurd” during a meeting of the city council on Tuesday, the Associated Press reported.

The Civil Service Ministry fined Paris City Hall 90,000 euros (US$109,408) for having 11 women and 5 men in top city hall positions in 2018, a breach of a law aimed at ensuring gender balance.

The 2013 law—enacted to ensure women have better access to senior jobs in the civil service—requires a minimum of 40 percent of appointments for both genders. In 2018, women represented a little over 68 percent of the top spots, while men held just over 31 percent. Currently, 47 percent of all civil servants in senior positions in Paris City Hall are women.

NPR reports that, in remarks on Tuesday to the capital’s governing body, Mayor Hidalgo said she would deliver the check to the Ministry of Public Service herself.

“Yes, we must promote women with determination and vigor because everywhere, France is still lagging behind [on that issue],” Hidalgo told the Paris Council. “So yes, to promote and one day achieve parity, we must speed up the tempo and ensure that in the nominations there are more women than men.”

Since becoming the first female mayor of Paris in 2014, Hidalgo has also promoted global climate action as part of her vision for a greener Paris in addition to fighting for gender equality for women.


“On her watch, large stretches of the left and right banks of the Seine River, which served as intercity expressways for decades, have been cleared of cars and reopened as urban parks where pedestrians can stroll, exercise, or hang out,” Lindsey Tramuta, author of The New Parisienne, wrote in AFAR’s March/April 2020 issue.

Additionally, Hidalgo has added to the city’s 400-plus miles of dedicated bike lanes and committed to banning all combustion-engine vehicles in Paris by 2030. She was re-elected in 2020 to her position.

The Associated Press contributed reporting to this article.

>> Next: Women to Watch in 2020

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