He's already delivering one of his first promises.
The newly-elected French President Emmanuel Macron won on May 7 with a decisive victory against his far right opponent and he is already well on his way to delivering promises he made during his campaign. Macron’s platform focused on overhauling labor laws and the government, as well as gender parity within the country and in parliament.
Macron delivered a campaign speech in January of this year and addressed the topic of gender inequality within the government and the imbalance between the amount of women in the general population of France and in parliament.
“Women currently represent 53 percent of the electoral body, so it’s unacceptable that they make up less than 30 percent of those elected to the National Assembly,” said Macron. “Unlike other political parties, we plan to respect gender parity.”
Macron founded the party “En Marche!” just over one year ago and has since renamed it “La République en Marche,” which is a social-liberal party that intends to be transpartisan in order to unite the parties and ideologies. It’s described as center-left and Macron has called it progressive in that it doesn’t split the parties, which is evident in his cabinet picks and parliamentary nominees.
The new president has already announced more than 400 of the parliamentary candidates he is going to nominate of the 577 he will eventually select. The candidates were split right down the middle, 214 men and 214 women to coincide with Macron’s promise to fill parliament with women to better represent the electoral body. He also announced his cabinet picks earlier this week, which is comprised of 11 women and 11 men from both the right and left, all of which have already been vetted.
Though Macron touts his strong stance on gender inequality, and his commitment to reducing the gender gap in parliament is surely evidence of this, the president has run into some problems with both defending his feminist ideals and pushing back against misogyny. On a personal level, he called critics of his marriage, which is to a woman that is 20 years his senior, “misogynists” because they would not be so harsh or doubtful about the union if it was him that was 20 years older than her. On the other hand, Macron elected to have “scantily clad” dancers perform before his victory speech, causing feminists to decry his feminist credentials.
Making sure the governmental body is stacked with strong women on both ends of the political spectrum is extremely important, however, and could significantly raise France’s current ranking when it comes to the amount of women in parliament. They are currently ranked 63 in the world for parliamentary equality, but if he were to succeed in filling half of the seats with women then France would jump to number 3. Ultimately, it’s not up to the president himself to appoint parliament positions, but Macron’s commitment to his promise is a great start for women in France and, hopefully, the entire world.