City Of Paris Is Fined 90,000 Euros For Naming Too Many Women To Senior Positions

Mayor Anne Hidalgo

Under Mayor Anne Hidalgo, 11 female and five male officials were appointed in 2018 to high-level roles — despite a rule that at least 40% of such positions should go to people of each gender.

The city of Paris has been fined 90,000 euros for an unusual infraction: It appointed too many women to senior positions in the government.

In 2018, 11 women and five men became senior officials. That meant 69% of the appointments were women — in violation of a rule that dictated at least 40% of government positions should go to people of each gender.

In remarks on Tuesday to the capital’s governing body, Mayor Anne Hidalgo said she would deliver the check to the Ministry of Public Service herself — along with the women in her government.

“So there will be many of us,” she said.

Since 2019, French law provides a waiver to the 40% rule if the new hires do not lead to an overall gender imbalance, Le Monde explains. That’s the case for the city of Paris, according to the newspaper: Women still make up just 47% of senior executives on its government. And female city officials are paid 6% less than their male counterparts.

But the rule change comes too late to avoid the fine.

“It is paradoxical to blame us for appointments that make it possible to catch up on the backlog we had,” Antoine Guillou, the mayor’s deputy in charge of human resources, told Le Monde.

Hidalgo, a member of the Socialist party who was first elected mayor in 2014 and was reelected this year, says the aim is to resolve an existing imbalance toward men.

“Yes, we must promote women with determination and vigor, because the delay everywhere in France is still very great,” she 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.”

“In Paris, we are doing everything to make it a success, and I am very, very proud of a large team of women and men who carry together this fight for equality,” Hidalgo added.

Amélie de Montchalin, France’s Minister of Public Service, lamented the fine and called the provision “absurd.”

@Anne_Hidalgo, the cause of women deserves better!” Montchalin tweeted. “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 raise them!”

Source: City Of Paris Is Fined 90,000 Euros For Naming Too Many Women To Senior Positions : NPR

Kamala Harris knows things no vice president has ever known

Men in power might sympathize with women’s issues, but Kamala Harris knows them by heart.

By Monica Hesse | Washington Post

In the week before the country potentially elects its first female vice president, I’ve been trying to write a sweeping essay about progress and trailblazers and glass-breakers and what it all means. But what I keep thinking about is this: At some point in Kamala Harris’s life, someone has instructed her to carry her keys like a weapon when she walks to her car. Someone has said, Get them out of your purse even before you leave the grocery store. Arrange them between your fingers, and if someone attacks you, aim for the face

How do I know this? Because this is Woman 101. It’s the first page of the instruction manual teaching us how we’ll need to navigate the world. I have never met a woman who hasn’t heard this piece of advice. And I doubt that in 232 years of male leadership there’s ever been a sitting president or vice president who has.

I keep thinking about how, at some point in Kamala Harris’s life, she has painstakingly reviewed her office wardrobe with the understanding that the difference between “slut” and “feminazi” is a few inches of worsted-wool hemline. At some point, she has approached a stranger in a public bathroom because the Tampax machine is broken again, and she has said, I’m so sorry, but do you have — and then she didn’t have to finish the question because women in bathrooms know that there is only one end to that question.

Continue reading “Kamala Harris knows things no vice president has ever known”

Polanski’s ‘Oscar’ divides elite world of French cinema

 

The elite world of French cinema, one of the pillars of the country’s exception culturelle, was bitterly divided after Roman Polanski was named best director at France’s equivalent of the Oscars.Several actresses walked out on Friday night as the César was awarded to the Franco-Polish director who is still wanted in the United States after he admitted the statutory rape of a 13-year-old girl.The award was viewed as provocative and a slap in the face for sexual abuse victims and #MeToo campaigners who have struggled to gain recognition in France. Outside the ceremony, feminists clashed with police. Polanski, 86, had stayed away, saying he feared a “feminist lynching”.On Saturday, Ursula Le Menn, an activist with Osez le Féminisme (“Dare to be feminist”), the group that organised the protest outside the ceremony, said the award showed that nothing had changed in the world of French cinema. “The empathy shown is a facade …. There is no real change of mentality,” she said.

Polanski’s film, J’Accuse (An Officer and a Spy), about the Dreyfus affair, was nominated for 12 Césars, and won two others – for best adaptation and best costume design. But it was the decision to name him best director that caused the most outrage.

“Polanski has presented himself like Dreyfus, a victim, and used his film for his own defence. For women who have had the courage to speak out about the abuse they suffered, there is an enormous pain seeing this man distinguished,” said Le Menn.

“We ask women to come forward and speak out and they see not only are there no consequences for their aggressors, but those same aggressors are honoured in this way.”

Actress Adèle Haenel, who last year revealed she had been sexually abused as a child by another director, shouted “Shame!” as she left the awards. Others followed, including the director Céline Sciamma. The ceremony’s host, Florence Foresti, also failed to return to close the event. On her Twitter account Foresti said she was “disgusted”.

Alexis Poulin, a French journalist and co-founder of an online media site, said many in France felt the same way. “A lot of people in France are disgusted this morning. What happened yesterday was wrong and I have been saying this for ever. I think it’s unfair Polanski is given all these honours,” he said.

“Giving Polanski a prize was quite a statement. The film is something a lot of people work on, not just him. Giving him the prize protects him – it says you cannot reach him and the French cinema elite will stick together: it’s like a cinema mob and he’s the godfather.

“It says to the victims, ‘we don’t want to hear you, you are nothing, we don’t trust you’,” Poulin added.

J’Accuse recounts the persecution of the French Jewish army officer Alfred Dreyfus in the 1890s, convicted of trumped-up charges of treason. In an interview to promote the film, Polanski admitted he saw himself like Dreyfus: “I am familiar with many of the workings of the apparatus of persecution shown in the film… I can see the same determination to deny the facts and condemn me for things I have not done. Most of the people who harass me do not know me and know nothing about the case.”

Poulin said the award had revealed a deep problem in French society. “Polanski fled and found refuge in France. In France, we accept rapists on the run because they’re artists. It’s a problem of French society.”

Polanski admitted the statutory rape of 13-year-old Samantha Gailey in 1977 after more serious charges were dropped in a plea bargain. While awaiting sentencing, he fled the US. France has refused to extradite him.

Since then, a number of other sexual abuse allegations have been made against the director, who became famous with his film Rosemary’s Baby. The most recent was last November when a French photographer, Valentine Monnier, accused Polanski of raping her in 1975, when she was 18, at his chalet in Gstaad, Switzerland. Polanski has denied all the allegations.

He received backing on Saturday from the philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy, who tweeted: “That the #Cesars waited until #Polanski was absent and could not respond, to mock him, humiliate him, overplay disgust and go so far as to refuse to pronounce his name, that says a lot about where the real “Miserables” were last night.”

Source: Polanski’s ‘Oscar’ divides elite world of French cinema | Film | The Guardian