Series: Ten steps in 100 days – diversity & parité in new French government

MyFrenchLife™ - French government - French election

This week the French discovered who would form their new government. As announced during the campaign, it shows diversity and parité, with an equal number of men and women. A refreshing younger generation is stepping in, taking up the challenge of recovery and growth against all odds.

For the first time in French politics, the government of 34 ministers and delegate ministers counts as many women as men in its ranks. The latter are also not only nominated in social areas. An interesting mix of cultural origins adds to the colourful palette of this new team.

Mixité et Diversité

MyFrenchLife™ - French government - French election - Christiane Taubira

The ministry of Justice is led by Christiane Taubira – 60 years of age, Deputy from Guyane. She gave her name to a law in 2001 acknowledging slavery as a crime against humanity. She was a candidate to the presidential election in 2002. She is assisted by Delphine Batho – 39 years.

Marylise Lebranchu – 65 years, will be driving the ‘Reforms of the State, the Decentralization and the Public Administration’. Nicole Bricq – 64 years, takes over the ministry of ‘Sustainability, Ecology and Energy’.

MyFrenchLife™ - French government - French election - Yamina Benguigui

Filmmaker Yamina Benguigui – 55 years, will look over ‘French living abroad and Francophonie’.

Valérie Fourneyron – 52 years, leads the ministry for ‘Sport, Youth and Association’.

Geneviève Fioraso – 58 years, previously CEO of SEM Minatec enterprises, specialising in micro and nanotechnologies, is in charge of ‘University & Research’. George Paul Langevin – 64 years, from Guadeloupe (the French Indies) joins the ministry of Education in charge of ‘Successful Schooling’.

Experienced women for France’s social issues

MyFrenchLife™ - French government - French election - Marison Touraine

Marisol Touraine – 53 years, is in charge of ‘Social Affairs and Health’. Michèle Delaunay – 65 years, a cancer specialist, takes over the ministry for the ‘Elders and Dependency’. Marie Arlette Carlotti – 60 years, a native from Marseille got the delegation for ‘Handicap’ and Dominique Bertinotti – 58 years, the one for the ‘Family’.

A new generation in French politics

MyFrenchLife™ - French government - French election - Sylvia Pinel - Fleur Pellerin

Sylvia Pinel – 34 years one of the youngest deputies from the region of Midi-Pyrénées is in charge of ‘Craft Industry, Commerce and Tourism’.

Fleur Pellerin – 38 years, takes charge of ‘SMEs, Innovation and Digital Economy’. She is originally from South Korea and studied at Essec, Sciences Po and ENA, the famous Ecole Nationale de l’Administration.

MyFrenchLife™ - French government - French election - Celine Duflot - Aureline Filippetti

Cecile Duflot – 37 years, previously head of the Ecology movement Les Verts (the green party), with a strong opinion on the withdrawal from nuclear energy, will work on ‘Egalité des Territoires et Logement’In 2009 she was nominated the ‘Political Revelation of the Year’ and shocked everyone by wearing jeans to the ceremony!

The ministry of ‘Culture and Communication’ is in the hands of Aurélie Filippetti – 38 years, a lover of classic culture and literature who also started her political career with the green party.

MyFrenchLife™ - French government - French election - Najat Vallaud-Belcakem

Last but not least, a young Franco-Morrocan woman discovered during the campaign as François Hollande’s spokesperson: Najat Vallaud-Belkacem – 34 years. She is the perfect example of a successful integration. She is in charge of the ‘Droit des Femmes’ and has the role of official spokesperson of new the government. She already has ten years political experience within the socialist party.

One surprise was the absence in this team of Martine Aubry, head of the socialist party and candidate herself to this presidential election. She will definitely play a role in the upcoming legislative elections.

How important is it to have diversity and equality within the government? Is this development a big deal – or is it to be expected in the 21st century? Share you views in the comments.

Read more from this series on the first 100 days of the new French President:
1. First and last steps of a French President
2. Ten milestones in 100 days for a new French President
3. Diversity and parité in the new French government (this page)
4. Is change coming for France?
5. The French vote again
6. The ‘normal’ President of France
7. The French President’s agenda
8. Happy birthday Mr. President!
9. Keep smiling, François!
10. Back in the heat of French politics

Image Credits:
© Reuters

About the Contributor

Marianne Kopf

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  1. Suzanne Cavanagh May 23, 2012 at 5:57 PM - Reply

    Merci Marianne for the great article introducing us to the women who will help navigate France through the challenging economic and social times ahead.
    It is refreshing to see the women in a range of pivotal portfolios in addition to the more traditional but important social ones. It is also encouraging to see women of diverse backgrounds because surely this more accurately represents the true face of the France of today.

    Looking forward to the next few articles.

  2. Fitz May 24, 2012 at 9:17 PM - Reply

    Vu que j’utilise une langue qui n’est pas la mienne, il faut que je fasse attention, de peur d’avoir l’air sexiste. Mais tout compte fait, le nouveau Président doit être en osmose avec son aspect féminin, puis qu’il semble avoir sélectionné des députées d’une vigueur rafraichissante et qui témoignent de beaucoup d’expertise et d’expérience. La composition est prometteuse.

  3. Marianne Kopf Jun 7, 2012 at 9:37 PM - Reply

    Thank you for your kind comments on my articles. Sorry for the delay to react, I have been travelling in the last weeks with little connection to the web (French countryside :-). Women are for sure leading a society shift in France and not only at the highest level of government. And guess what, the new French president even hired a women to be in charge of his “protection rapprochée”, the elite police team in charge of his security !

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