A news note of interest the new French cabinet now has 7 women among its 15 members. In comparison Bush has 3 among his 15 cabinet members. Tony Blair has 8 women out of 22 positions. Either France has more qualified women for political opportunities or the US is still behind the curve on opportunities for women in politics or in general.
Further note, 9 out of 50 state governors are women and in the Senate there are 16 women out of 100 Senators and the House has 70 out of 435. Why such low numbers in the House? You'd think there would be more women in the House. Guess there aren't enough lower level stepping stones for the politically oriented.
7 women in France's new Cabinet
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
A look at the seven women in the 15-member French Cabinet named by President Nicolas Sarkozy:
MICHELE ALLIOT-MARIE, Interior Minister - The 60-year-old held a series of ministerial posts before becoming France's first female defense minister in 2002. She was widely considered to harbor presidential ambitions, but abandoned them when it became clear she had little chance of defeating Sarkozy. Is often referred to by her initials, MAM.
RACHIDA DATI, Justice Minister - Rose to prominence during the presidential campaign as Sarkozy's spokeswoman. Sarkozy said he chose the 41-year-old lawyer of Moroccan-Algerian origin, one of the few visible minorities in his inner circle, for her "intrinsic qualities" but also to send a message to minority youths. Dati, who worked as a nursing assistant to pay for her studies, helped draft legislation to prevent juvenile delinquency.
ROSELYNE BACHELOT, Minister of Health, Youth and Sports - Was former President Jacques Chirac's spokeswoman during his 2002 campaign and served as his ecology minister from 2002-2004. A lawmaker's daughter and a pharmacist, Bachelot, 60, began her political career in 1982 in a conservative party. She gained prominence in 1998, when she bucked the party line to support a leftist proposal to create civil unions for homosexual couples. Her appearances with gay activists shocked many conservatives.
CHRISTINE BOUTIN, Housing Minister - The head of a small conservative party, Boutin got just 1.19 percent of the vote in the 2002 presidential race. A Roman Catholic, she vehemently opposed the civil union proposal, at one point delivering a 5 1/2 hour tirade in Parliament, Bible in hand. The 63-year-old also opposes adoptions by gay couples and abortion - legal in France - but favors prison reform and granting papers to illegal immigrants.
CHRISTINE LAGARDE, Agriculture Minister - A lawyer, 51-year-old Lagarde rose through the ranks of the prestigious law firm Baker & McKenzie, becoming its first woman head in 1999. Placed 76 on Forbes Magazine's 2004 list of the world's most powerful women. A former synchronized swimming champion, she was previously minister for foreign trade.
CHRISTINE ALBANEL, Culture Minister - Longtime Chirac protege, Albanel served as a cultural adviser and sometimes speechwriter for the former leader for more than two decades. Chirac named Albanel, 51, to head the Chateau de Versailles, one of France's premier historical monuments, in 2003. An accomplished playwright, she has also published a novel.
VALERIE PECRESSE, Minister of Higher Education and Research - A lawmaker and spokeswoman for Sarkozy's UMP party, Pecresse is widely considered dynamic and hard working. At 39, she is the Cabinet's youngest minister.