The French public service ministry has handed out a fine of 90,000 euros ($109,408) to the Paris city authorities, Conséil de Paris, for employing too many women in senior positions in 2018. The appointments had breached a 2013 law passed by the French to maintain a gender balance. As per the law which was later repealed, appointments of one gender at leading positions must not exceed 60%. The Paris City hall had appointed eleven women and just five men which means the strength of the women executives was about 69% in 2018.
Paris City Mayor Anne Hidalgo responded to the fine by saying that she was happy to pay the fine for being too much feminist. “I am happy to announce that we have been fined … the management of the city hall has, all of a sudden, become far too feminist,” Hidalgo said during a city council meeting.
While Mayor Hidalgo mocked the decision and described the fines as “absurd, unfair, irresponsible and dangerous”, reactions on the microblogging site shows both support and disapproval. Some social media users hoped the receipts from fine would be used for causes of women. One user who disapproved the excessive appointments said “So far, I’m not shocked: discrimination must not change sides,” and tweeted an image of an unkept part of Paris.
The French Public Service Minister Amelie de Montchalin also took to the Twitter to remind the people that the law stands repealed currently. “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 said in a message to the Paris mayor.
“What I find absurd is that we had to wait for the Black Lives Matter movement to take on a global scale so that in France, we were finally interested in positive discrimination in the senior civil service!” wrote a Twitter user.