France’s public service ministry on Tuesday fined Paris city authorities 90,000 euros (approximately R1.6 million) for employing too many women in senior positions in 2018.
The authorities broke national rules on gender parity in 2018 when they appointed 11 women and five men to senior positions, meaning that nearly 70% of the appointments went to women.
The “Sauvadet law,” which was enacted in 2013 but repealed six years later, meant no more than 60% of appointments to management positions in public service should go to one gender, Euronews reported Tuesday.
The rule was to ensure that more women within the civil service were promoted to senior levels, per Euronews.
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said in a city council meeting on Tuesday she would take the check to the French government in person. The deputy mayors and other female staff would accompany her, added Hidalgo, who has served as the city’s mayor since 2014.
“I am happy to announce that we have been fined,” Hidalgo joked in the meeting. “The management of the city hall has, all of a sudden, become far too feminist.”
Hidalgo described the fine as “absurd, unfair, irresponsible and dangerous.”
“Yes, we need to promote women with determination and vigor because everywhere, France is still lagging behind,” she said.
“We must promote women with determination and vigour because the gap everywhere in France is still very large. So yes, in order to achieve parity one day, it is necessary to speed up the tempo and make sure that in the nominations there are more women than men,” she added.
France’s Public Service Minister Amelie de Montchalin tweeted on Tuesday that a fine had been levied for the authorities breaking the rules in 2018. The “absurd” rule was repealed in 2019, she added.
“I want the fine paid by Paris for 2018 to finance concrete actions to promote women in the public service. I invite you to the ministry to discuss them!” she tweeted in response to Hidalgo’s post.
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