Future European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, due to take up his functions this autumn, already faces an immediate problem as he composes his list of 28 European commissioners. For out of the 23 nominations so far officialised, only four are women. That represents five less than the outgoing commission, whose female contingent have now co-signed an open letter to Juncker demanding he find at least ten women. As Mediapart’s Brussels correspondent Ludavic Lamant reports, there is increasing uproar over the issue, notably among members of the European Parliament to who Juncker must submit his final list of commissioners for approval.
France's women’s rights minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem this week revealed that some 500 companies were recently ordered to introduce gender parity at the workplace or pay hefty fines until they do. For despite legal requirements for firms to provide what the minister called ‘professional equality’ between male and female employees, women in France on average earn markedly less than men and are significantly less present in managerial posts. Dan Israel presents some of the stark facts of an outrageous discrimination, and hears from outspoken feminist and businesswoman Mercedes Erra why she believes change can only come about by imposing quotas.
Men and women might be equal before criminal law, but not when it comes to their trial, where women are shown comparative leniency by sentencing judges. That’s the controversial conclusion of a three-year study by two French sociologists, Maxime Lelièvre and Thomas Léonard, who monitored the treatment of, and sentences meted out to, men and women in French courts. Michaël Hajdenberg looks at their findings and hears the conflicting reactions of magistrates and lawyers.