Nine women who might benefit from Hollande's Cabinet promise
Can the new French President really assemble a Cabinet that is 50 per cent female?
FRANCE'S new Socialist President Francoise Hollande, who was sworn in at a ceremony in Paris today, has promised to fill half of his Cabinet seats with women. But keeping this promise could prove difficult. Le Monde observes that 81.5 per cent of French MPs are men, meaning there is a small pool of experienced women from which Hollande can choose. Secondly, he will have to leave out prominent male Socialist contenders.
Hollande is expected to appoint Jean Marc Ayrault as his prime minister in the next 24 hours before presenting him with a longlist of ministerial candidates with which to form his Cabinet. Here are nine of the top female contenders who are likely to be on that list.
Martine Aubry The Socialist Party's first secretary, Aubry would like to become Hollande's prime minister - but, as previously suggested, that role looks likely to go to Jean Marc Ayrault, who has a better relationship with the President. Aubry has already served as labour minister and employment minister in the 1990s - and fought an unsuccessful battle with Hollande last year for the Socialist presidential nomination.
Elisabeth Guigou One of the most experienced politicians in the field. Entered Prime Minister Lionel Jospin's Cabinet as Minister of Justice (1997–2000) before becoming Minister of Employment (2000–2002). Guigou's left-wing credentials are impeccable: she has been a member of the National Assembly for the seriously Socialist department of Seine -Saint -Denis since 2002.
Catherine Trautmann Former Minister of Culture and now Member of the European Parliament for the East of France. She is experienced: elected as mayor of Strasbourg in 1989, re-elected in 1995, then defeated in 2001.
Aurelie Filipetti A politician and novelist of Italian descent. Her first novel Les derniers jours de la classe Ouvrière (The Lasts Days of the Working Class), published 2003, has been translated into several languages. In 2008, Filipetti was groped by fellow Socialist Dominique Strauss-Kahn – who might have been president instead of Hollande if he had not had his unfortunate encounter with a hotel maid in New York last year - and stated she would "forever make sure" she was never "alone in a room with him".
Delphine Batho Batho became politically active as a student radical, and campaigned for student rights during Lionel Jospin's tenure as Presidet . However, Batho came under fire earlier this year when she was exposed as renting an apartment reserved for families on low incomes: French MPs earn €11,000 after tax per month.
Najat Vallaud-Belkacem Second in a family of seven children, Najat Vallaud-Belkacem (above) was born in Morocco. She joined the Socialist Party in 2002. In February 2007 she joined the campaign team of Socialist presidential candidate Ségolène Royal as a spokesperson. In March 2008 she was elected councillor for Rhône. She is seen as one of the up-and-coming stars of the Socialist Party.
Cecile Duflot Duflot is leader of the Green party, a position she has held since November 2006, and is the only Green leader to have served two consecutive terms. She is lobbying hard to be named as Environment Minister.
Marisol Touraine Touraine represents the Indre-et-Loire department. Well respected on the left, she has been vociferous in reminding Hollande of his promise to put women into power, saying: "We need women in posts that count."
Ségolène Royal The first woman in France to be nominated by a major party to run for President, she was the Socialist candidate in the 2007 French presidential election but lost to Nicolas Sarkozy. Hollande's former partner and mother of his four children, she is tipped to become Speaker of the National Assembly.