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Matthew Carbasse

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  • Europe

208. This is the number of women who will sit in the French National Assembly, according to the final results of the legislative elections published by the Ministry of the Interior.

Far from the parity zone, women now represent 36% of the hemicycle. In other words, one in three MPs is a woman; two out of three are therefore men. This is a new step backwards for women's representation after the 2022 elections, which followed the record of 2017. The proportion of women in the National Assembly had then reached 38.8% (or 224 female deputies), before falling in 2022 to 37.3% (215).

It should be noted, however, that the contingent of women in the Assembly is the third largest in the country's history since 1945, when women were authorized to sit.

For Sandrine Lévêque, professor of political science at Sciences Po Lille and researcher at the Center for Political and Social Administrative Studies and Research (CERAPS), the trend observed since Emmanuel Macron came to power was somewhat reversed on Sunday evening.

According to her, the dissolution of the National Assembly, announced on the evening of the European elections, took the public, but also the political class, by surprise. Taken by surprise, the party leaderships returned to their old habits by largely renewing outgoing candidates — to the detriment of new faces, and therefore emerging female candidates.

< p>“As is often the case in times of crisis, parity has been relegated to the background. Even on the left, where the parties are more attentive to this question,” says Ms. Lévêque.

A very contrasting hemicycle< /h2>

Among the three large blocs that now make up the French National Assembly, two are approaching the parity zone: the New Popular Front, which has 78 deputies (or 40.4% of its total), and Ensemble, Emmanuel's camp Macron, who sees women make up 40.2% of his delegation.

Among the left-wing parties, the Ecologists are at the top of the class (53.6 % of elected representatives), ahead of La France insoumise (43.2%) and the Socialist Party (42.9%). On the side of the presidential camp, Emmanuel Macron's Renaissance movement has 41.2% of deputies, compared to 36% for the MoDem and Horizons.

The National Rally (RN ) and Les Républicains (LR) and are lagging behind. The RN and its allies only have a third of women (33.3%), compared to 26.1% for LR.

Beyond the quantitative aspect, Sandrine Lévêque also points out a decline on the qualitative level – namely that very often, and even more so during the last elections, women inherit candidacies in constituencies where their chance of victory is far from 'be assured. Not to say sometimes impossible.

“The National Rally for example is quite good in terms of parity, in particular to avoid losing funding [which is provided for by the parity law of 2000]. The RN therefore presented women in large numbers… But, very often, where they could not win, like in Paris, in particular. In the end, the women of the RN obtained quite poor results. »

According to Ms. Lévêque, this decline is also the symbol of the glass ceiling that remains regarding the representation of women on the French political scene. “The higher you go in the political hierarchy, the fewer women there are. For example, there are almost 50% women elected to regional councils, but only 20% women are at the head of these councils. »

A woman in Matignon, impossible ?

Among the favorites whose name is circulating to replace Gabriel Attal is that of Marine Tondelier, the national secretary of environmentalists. But Sandrine Lévêque is not optimistic about her chances of being appointed to this position by Emmanuel Macron.

“We have seen it since Sunday, women are excluded from these party discussions. They cannot participate in secret meetings until 4 a.m., because they often have family obligations. What we have seen since the second round is a return to the old politics with men distributing constituencies, key positions or ministerial seats,” says the researcher at CERAPS, who notes that the negotiations mainly involve white men of a certain age.

“Personally, I do not think that a female figure is required today for Matignon. We are heading towards a coalition that leans to the right, where there are fewer women. And as is sometimes said jokingly: “On the right, the feminine form of deputy is substitute,” concludes the researcher.

Lagging behind in Europe

With only 36% of female deputies, France is lagging behind on a European scale in terms of the representation of women in Parliament, far behind Iceland (47.6%), Sweden (46.7%) and Spain (44.3%), according to the ranking established by the Inter-Parliamentary Union.

Finally note that in this area, Rwanda always shows the way forward. In the 2020 elections, women numbered 49 out of 80 (or 61.25% of the total deputies). And the presidency as well as the general secretariat of the Chamber of Deputies are also occupied by women.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116