France marches on 223 stilettos

Emmanuel Macron. Pic/AFP
Emmanuel Macron. Pic/AFP

France voted a record number of women into parliament, election results showed on Monday, after President Emmanuel Macron's victorious Republic on the Move (LREM) party fielded a gender-balanced candidate list. Of the 577 newly elected lawmakers, 223 were female, beating the previous record of 155 set after the last election.

That sent France leapfrogging from 64th to 17th in the world rankings of female parliamentary representation and to 6th place in Europe, overtaking Britain and Germany, according to Inter-parliamentary Union data compiled at the start of June. LREM, which won an overwhelming majority in Sunday's ballot, had the highest proportion of women elected, at 47 percent.

"For the first time under the (postwar) Fifth Republic, the National Assembly will be deeply renewed – more diverse, younger," the party's acting president, Catherine Barbaroux, said. "But above all, allow me to rejoice, because this is a historic event for the representation of women in the National Assembly."

Female representation in the National Assembly has risen steadily, from 12.3 percent at the 2002 election to 38.6 percent this time. But most parties still put up more men for election, despite France having a system in which a party's funding is restricted if women do not make up at least 49 percent of candidates.

155 Number of female MPs elected in the last election
17 France's position in the world rankings of female parliamentary representation

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