[Brussels, 06 June 2012] Ahead of legislative elections in France, the NGO ‘Osez le féminisme’ has published figures showing that since 1988 more than 70% of constituencies have never elected a woman to the National Assembly. Out of 577 legislative constituencies, more than 400 have never been represented by a woman over the last five terms; only eight have consistently had women representatives.
The current National Assembly is 81,5% male, which puts France in 18th place among the EU Member States for gender balance in parliamentary representation. Of the main political parties, the UMP is presenting 28% women on its lists this time around; the Socialists 45%.
France has legislation in place to ensure gender partity but political parties prefer to pay fines rather than put women forward. The UMP last time around paid up four million euros - or 12% of its budget - in fines; the PS paid 500,000 euros.
The newly elected President François Hollande made a campaign promise to remove subsidies from political parties which fail to apply parity rules.