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Paris, France, was fined 90,000 euros (120 million won) by the government for violating gender equality regulations. However, the reason for the fine was that they hired too many women, not too few women.
According to local media such as France 24 on the 15th (local time), France’s Ministry of Public Services imposed such a fine, saying that it violated gender equality national regulations in the hiring of high-ranking positions in Paris City Hall’s management department in 2018.
Mayor Ahn Dal-go, who was elected as the first female mayor of Paris, appointed 11 women and five men to senior city hall management positions in 2018, accounting for 69 percent of women. France’s legislation of the Gender Equality Act in 2013 stipulated that one of the high-ranking officials in the management department of public institutions should not exceed 60%.
According to AFP, the new fine was abolished last year. However, the abolition of the regulations was not applied retroactively, so the personnel appointments of Paris City Hall in 2018 will be subject to the gender equality standardization law.
In the past, when the proportion of women in high-ranking public institutions was low, the law was used to increase women’s opportunities to participate in management, but this time it was applied the opposite way.
For this reason, Mayor Lee Dal-go said he was rather “pleased” by the news of the fine. He also said he would go with all the female employees who work with him to submit the fines himself.
According to the French weekly Le Nouvel Observatur, Mayor of the city of Hidalgo denounced the fine as “outrageous, unfair, irresponsible and dangerous.” “There is a gap everywhere, so in order to achieve gender equality, we need to accelerate the employment of women (in higher positions) more than men,” he said.
Mayor Lee Dal-go is a politician belonging to the Socialist Party who was elected mayor of Paris in 2014 and won re-election. He was also a Spanish immigrant. The socialist grandfather of Hidalgo defected to France after the Spanish Civil War.
He was the deputy mayor of Paris, who began working hours as a director of gender equality and later took charge of vocational education, cultural policies, and urban planning.
In 2014, he was elected with pledges to rent electric motorcycles and expand public housing, and this time he succeeded in re-election with a policy to turn Paris into an ecological city. The pledge included removing 60,000 parking lots in Paris and drastically increasing bike paths.
“The fine paid by the city of Paris will be used for women’s policies in the public service sector,” said French Public Service Minister Amelia De Montschalin.