Brigitte Macron and the 'First Lady' debate

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The French government on Tuesday appeared to be backtracking on President Emmanuel Macron’s pledge to provide his wife Brigitte with an official, legal status of “First Lady”, with the announcement that the position will now be the subject of a “charter”. The development came after an online petition launched last month against creating an official title of First Lady has attracted almost 300,000 signatures. Mediapart political commentator Hubert Huertas argues here that, whether the role of “première dame” is enshrined in a charter or by official status, the petition has focussed attention on both a fundamental problem and a pile of hypocracy.

 

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It might as yet be nowhere close to the remarkable almost-1.5 million signatures that supported the petition led last year by feminist activist Caroline De Haas against the then socialist government’s labour law reforms, but nevertheless the online petition launched just a few weeks ago by Thierry Paul Valette against a move to create an official ‘First Lady’ status for French president Emmanuel Macron’s wife Brigitte has attracted a significant number of signatures (286,000 by Tuesday) and a loud buzz on social media.