The National Council marked International Women’s Day on Thursday, March 8, as it has done every year since 2004. This year, Brigitte Boccone-Pagès, the first female Vice-President of the National Council introduced the theme Women in the City of Tomorrow (les Femmes dans la Cité de Demain) to the hundred prominent local women invited to the event.
“I would like to remind you of the importance given by the National Council to the rights of women. Importance because it is thanks to our legislative work that we will contribute actively to the reduction of inequalities between women and men in the Principality. Importance because it is enough to see the number of legislative texts under examination in this commission on the rights of woman and family that I have the honour to chair once again,” Ms Boccone-Pagès said.
In his opening remarks, President of the National Council Stéphane Valeri extended a warm welcome. “You have been invited tonight because you represent the Women of Monaco. Because you make the Principality alive by your activities, through your professional lives, and your political commitments, and I thank you warmly.”
Referring to the recent elections for the National Council, Mr Valeri said; “Our role here at the National Council is to advance the great cause of equality between men and women, through the tools that are ours and through the application, as much as possible, of proposals that were contained in the political programme that the Monegasques have just chosen by their vote.”
In concrete terms, Mr Valeri said that the elected body would be setting up a commission to initiate action to reduce income inequalities: “Of course, we want to reduce salary inequalities, which are very real, as all the studies show, by proposing the creation of a commission of control and complaint dedicated to this question.”
Mr Valeri also promised tough action on workplace harassment and violence against women, which he described as a “terrible scourge”.
The President of the Council also referred to female representation. “In terms of gender equality, how can we not approach the topic of parity in politics? I am fortunate to be able to chair a National Council that has a record number of women in the history of our institution: but they still represent only a third of elected officials.”
Mr Valeri finished with a quotation from the 19th century French writer Stendhal. “To illustrate this Ideal City of Tomorrow, I quote: ‘The admission of woman to perfect equality would be the surest mark of civilisation; it would double the intellectual forces of the human race.’”