It all started with an email, from the start of her term in 2020. Then deputy mayor of Berric (Morbihan), Solène Le Monnier noted that she was not invited to a meeting of the Works committee in which she had to participate . “The list was made up of men only. I was refused access on the pretext that the room was too small, ”ironically the elected official. Since then, examples like this one, or others more violent, have accumulated meaning that it owed its place only to the obligation to make effective parity in the executive of the municipal council. "I was a quota," she sums up scathingly. In political MeToo, they are off the radar. The movement denouncing gender-based and sexual violence in the spheres of political power indeed hides a crowd of elected municipal, inter-municipal,rural… who keep the machine running locally but are invisible when they denounce the sexism they face. Yet it is overwhelming. In local authorities, no less than 74% of them have already been victims, according to an exclusive study that we reveal this Friday, day of the 10th National Days of Elected Women.
The numbers depict a hostile environment in which they operate
In action: the Élues Locales network, which carried out the survey with 950 participants, and which works to change attitudes about the place of women in this environment.
The figures collected depict a hostile environment in which these committed women operate.
Which does not surprise the founder of the network at all.
“They have been giving us these testimonies for ten years.
Today it was a question of quantifying the phenomenon.
From now on, this study must be an electric shock for local communities.
Especially since the overwhelming majority of the violence denounced comes from other elected colleagues (
82%, Editor's note
And if we welcome the speech of women politicians in the media, they are indeed the tree that hides the forest, ”points out Julia Mouzon, who also insists on the fact that this sexism has no political color.
"He is cross-partisan," she adds.
In 2022, new tools will thus be made available to communities by the network against violence against women in politics.
In politics as elsewhere, unity is strength.
I am very proud to see for several months our local networks being structured and growing, around inspiring and committed local elected representatives.
Against violence, and for the advancement of women in politics: join us!
- Julia Mouzon (@juliamouzon) November 24, 2021
"I lost all my delegations"
Interruptions during speeches, paternalistic attitudes, jokes or sexist remarks form the bulk of these behaviors that exclude those elected from the discussion table. They also mean that nearly one in three has thought of giving up politics. The other percentages are less spectacular. However, they are not trivial: 5% report harassment, 3% threats of death, rape and beatings, 1% physical violence. “We don't all cry rape, but we all cry violence. For having asserted my right to exist within the municipal council, I paid for it from my post. I lost all my delegations after multiple public humiliations questioning my work. I was not made aware of the files on the town, I was placarded. I was simply asked to show up ”,explains Solène Le Monnier.
Read alsoSexism in politics: "These humiliations mean that many women do not get started"
The elected official still in office thus became a simple opposition municipal councilor… without her knowing it. “I discovered it one morning. I had not requested it. Despite everything, I am happy to no longer be associated with this executive, she breathes, and the head of the list with whom I now work is a very supportive woman ”. No other support in this territory of nearly 2000 inhabitants? No. You must not wave at the risk of losing the village spirit and especially your post. “Those who have power consider themselves masters at home, they are children of the country. They only accepted women under the constraint of the law. It's even harder to swallow when it comes from people who have worked with you on a daily basis, ”says Solène Le Monnier.
"Come over here my little chick" "You if you don't shut up I'll take you into the woods" "You're not afraid to come dressed like that in my office" "Your buttocks I'll end up touching them" Les testimonies of women in politics are appalling #MeTooPolitique #MeToo pic.twitter.com/fEgOPDlfBK
- Madeline Da Silva (@DASILVAMADELINE) November 15, 2021
"If we lived so well thanks to the work of these gentlemen, it would be known! Society must be able to benefit from all potentials and, to this end, the territories cannot deprive themselves of the voice of women. Men hear this and accompany him, but they are still too few in number and do not speak loud enough, ”regrets Christelle Matheu, elected mayor of the village of Lamasquère (Haute-Garonne) in May 2020. If this is her first mandate as mayor, she has known the management of communities for 15 years. She sees the delegations which are allotted to women: childhood, culture but especially not finances… "I was elected and I am legitimate but I know very well that if I make a mistake, we will then be able to correct it. let a good number of male aberrations pass, ”laughs the elected official.
Has she herself been the object of sexist behavior or remarks in her duties?
She lets out a sigh that speaks volumes.
"Wednesday evening again, I was entitled to"
you are cute but shut up ".
I also really like when an elected official tells me that he probably did
not demonstrate enough pedagogy
to explain to me something that I refused.
Yes, yes, I understood very well but I do not agree.
Quite simply, ”she reframes.