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In order to elaborate our SWOT analyze we have obtained information from different actors engaged in women and gender equality issues, such as: - University of Strasbourg -Researchers in gender equality. - Division for the equality between women and men and the fight against domestic violence (Council of Europe) - Union européenne feminine, - Local elected women, including the Delegate to women rights and gender equality-Municipal Council of Strasbourg. We also used online documentation.
Our SWOT grid has been elaborated according to a methodological plan focused first on the analyses of Strengths points, secondly on Weaknesses points and then on Opportunities and Threats. First of all we tried to answer the questions about what France has successfully done in order to mobilize and to make visible women in political life; engage citizen in political dialogue and in electoral participation. Then, to continue the analysis of Strengths points, we wondered what kind of resources are available to us in order to mobilize and to make visible women in political life; to engage citizen in political dialogues and in electoral participation. Concerning the study of weaknesses points we wondered what kind of positions women politicians occupy in contrast to men and through statistical data we show that women occupy places in welfare committees where there are many detail rules to be considered and that there are only men on the major positions like municipal executive committee, tax committees etc. These data showed that we lack many resources in order to involve women in political life. We have analyzed them and we have extended our study the lack of resources in order to involve citizen in political life too. We have put in evidence opportunities offered by the involvement of women and citizen in political life providing social arguments. The last part of our analysis has been dedicated to the study of threats generated by the male perception to consider political life only a male matter. We have shown social challenges produced as the result of involvement of women and citizen in political life without forgetting obstacles we have to face.
Analysis of results.
At this point we propose to analyze the results we get through the studies conducted during the SWOT analyses.
The Observatory of the parity in France is an independent organ asked to follow the governmental politics in well-balanced participation of the women and the men in the political and public life. This organ could be a mediator, an observatory or a division specialized in the national mechanism in the field of gender equality. Two political parties - the Socialist Party and Greens - set up internal positive measures. The practice adopted by the Socialist Party and applied during the general election of 1997, consists in reserving legislative districts for feminine candidacies. Greens introduced positive measures into the statutes of their party (parity of the sexes for responsible jobs with adoption of voting systems suited to realize it). The constitutional revision voted by the parliament gathered in congress on June 28th, 1999, dedicated the principle of equal access of women and men to the electoral mandates and to the elective offices. The article 3 of the Constitution confers on the law the care of facilitating this equal access, whereas the article 4 arranges that the parties " contribute to implement this principle ". In December, 1999, the government set in the National Assembly a bill " tending to facilitate the equal access of women and men to the electoral mandate and the elective offices " as well as an organic bill for overseas territories (New Caledonia, Polynesia and Wallis and Futuna). All these texts was adopted on May 3rd, 2000 The Government put into practice, on one hand, the gender parity (50 % of candidates of every sex) and on the other hand, it choose not to modify the voting systems. And so, from March, 2001, the law will apply in the municipalities of more than 3.500 inhabitants, from September, 2001, for the senatorial elections (for the departments where the senators are elected in the proportional) and from 2004 for the local and European elections. In all these ballots, the law plans that in each list, " the distance among the number of the candidates of the two sexes cannot be superior to one " and, for the municipal and regional elections, that " within every group of six candidates, in occasion of presentation of lists, an an equal number of candidates of every sex has to be respected". Besides, the law allows a political party not to be sanctioned if it presents 49 % of women and 51 % of men.
According to statistical data, French women engaged in political life occupy positions in following areas: - Citizenship, electoral affairs and affairs of nationality - Women and equality of the genres right
- International and European relations - Sustainable development, climate, environment - Legal and contentious risks prevention - E-administration - Public commerce and calls for tender - Social matters - Green spaces If we analyze these data, we notice that French women have never occupied positions in traditionally male areas like economics and finance. There have always been only men on the major positions like municipal executive committee, tax committees etc. The obstacles that prevent women to be engaged in public life and especially which prevent them to play a role at the higher levels, are the following: - the conciliation of the public and private life; - the poverty of the women in terms of lower salaries in parity of working conditions of the men; - the socio-psychological female representation imposed by the society; - the education in schools and universities proposing a stereotypical image of the women; - images and communication around the feminine subjects proposed by the mass media; - the lack of measure accompanying the legislation in gender equality issues; - the lack of information about resources offered to the women in terms of participation in associations.
In order to reduce obstacles preventing the participation of women in public life it would be very useful: - to act at the European level. The European level is the best perspective to act in the field of the policies aiming the gender equality. Through the actions engaging member states, the European institutions occupy a more and more important place in the promotion of human rights (ex. campaign against the domestic violence; launching a transverse debate to the conference of the OING of the Council of Europe). - to launch a campaign of information. It would be useful to use the money stemmed from fines paid by the political parties, which prefer not to respect the parity-women men during the elections, in favour of a media campaign to promote the role of the woman in political life. The aim is to marginalize stereotypes we find in the media about women and through the set up of training in schools of journalism, for example ). The way we speak about women and the way they accept that we speak about them are very important. The question of language also deserves a particular attention.
- to set up measures of accompaniment in the legislation in gender equality: training support, measures in the economic domain, to facilitate the conciliation of the professional and private life, etc. - to coordinate the networks of elected women to increase their visibility and impact and to support women in being involved in politics. - to give value to the action of the engaged women and give more visibility to their commitments - to give value to the engaged citizen and associations (as possible point of departure of commitment in the political life) - to act at the level of education of young people through measures allowing to make sensitive them about the theme of the gender parity and especially by presenting them a different image about woman. This measure could take the shape of a project implying debates, forum, testimonies brought by women already engaged in political life in schools (on the US model where regularly persons come to speak about their profession). - to increase training and information for women about the possibilities to access to the political life. The use of new communications is also to be privileged (debates / on-line forums, etc.). - to improve the access to the justice: women have rights and they have to be capable of benefit of them and of defending them (fight against the discriminations,) It would be necessary to simplify the procedures to prove women are victims of a discrimination. - to involve men showing them that it is in their interest to make the women more participative in political life. Promote the role of the men as partners. If we had to elaborate an argument to support the necessity to involve women and all citizens in political life, we could put in evidence the fact that equality is about creating a fair society, where everyone can participate equally and where everyone has the opportunity to fulfill their potential to produce the Common Good. Gender equality means giving equal freedom of choice, empowerment and participation to women and men in all spheres of public and private life. Taking part in elections and in political dialogue offers the only possibility to increase our trust in laws and in the system..
Even where equality plans are obligatory, they can be absent in practice especially as there is often a lack of sanctions. So it is not only a matter of legislation but also a matter of implementation of the legislation and sanctions. Women mobilization challenges the traditional way to consider the relationship between women and men. Taking part in political issues has always been a male priority not only according to men's point of view; this dominant way of considering society has been partly accepted by
women. So the main obstacle relates to a change of mentalities. In the French model of national representation, rights are bestowed uniquely on the Nation and not on the people represented. National sovereignty eclipses the projection of the people. A woman has no right to present herself as a woman in a political life based on male concepts. In these terms, female mobilization and the increase of women's visibility in political life have to face the obstacles represented by a mentality based on male concepts. Regarding citizens in general, their involvement in political dialogue and in electoral participation has to face another kind of obstacle that is well represented by the lack of trust in political matters; politics are not felt by citizens as the way to create and to share the Common Good.
Main articles: Government of France and Constitution of France
Logo of the French Republic The French Republic is a unitary semi-presidential republic with strong democratic traditions. The constitution of the Fifth Republic was approved by referendum on 28 September 1958. It greatly strengthened the authority of the executive in relation to parliament. The executive branch itself has two leaders: the President of the Republic, currently Nicolas Sarkozy, who is head of state and is elected directly by universal adult suffrage for a 5-year term (formerly 7 years), and the Government, led by the president-appointed Prime Minister, currently François Fillon.
Nicolas Sarkozy has been the President of the French Republic since 2007 The French parliament is a bicameral legislature comprising a National Assembly (Assemblée Nationale) and a Senate. The National Assembly deputies represent local constituencies and are directly elected for 5-year terms. The Assembly has the power to dismiss the cabinet, and thus the majority in the Assembly determines the choice of government. Senators are chosen by an electoral college for 6-year terms (originally 9-year terms), and one half of the seats are submitted to election every 3 years starting in September 2008. The Senate's legislative powers are limited; in the event of disagreement between the two chambers, the National Assembly has the final say. The government has a strong influence in shaping the agenda of Parliament.
French politics are characterised by two politically opposed groupings: one left-wing, centred around the French Socialist Party, and the other right-wing, centred previously around the Rassemblement pour la République (RPR) and now its successor the Union for a Popular Movement (UMP). The executive branch is currently composed mostly of the UMP.
Main article: Law of France
The basic principles that the French Republic must respect are found in the 1789 Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen France uses a civil legal system; that is, law arises primarily from written statutes; judges are not to make law, but merely to interpret it (though the amount of judge interpretation in certain areas makes it equivalent to case law). Basic principles of the rule of law were laid in the Napoleonic Code. In agreement with the principles of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen law should only prohibit actions detrimental to society. As Guy Canivet, first president of the Court of Cassation, wrote about the management of prisons: :Freedom is the rule, and its restriction is the exception; any restriction of Freedom must be provided for by Law and must follow the principles of necessity and proportionality. That is, Law should lay out prohibitions only if they are needed, and if the inconveniences caused by this restriction do not exceed the inconveniences that the prohibition is supposed to remedy. French law is divided into two principal areas: private law and public law. Private law includes, in particular, civil law and criminal law. Public law includes, in particular, administrative law and constitutional law. However, in practical terms, French law comprises three principal areas of law: civil law, criminal law and administrative law. France does not recognise religious law, nor does it recognise religious beliefs or morality as a motivation for the enactment of prohibitions. As a consequence, France has long had neither blasphemy laws nor sodomy laws (the latter being abolished in 1791). However, "offences against public decency" (contraires aux bonnes m urs) or disturbing public order (trouble à l'ordre public) have been used to repress public expressions of homosexuality or street prostitution.
Criminal laws can only address the future and not the past (criminal ex post facto laws are prohibited) ; and to be applicable, laws must be officially published in the Journal Officiel de la République Française. France is tolerant of the LGBT community. Since 1999, civil unions for homosexual couples are permitted, although same-sex marriage is illegal in France. Laws sentencing racism, sexism or antisemitism are old and important, for instance, laws prohibiting discriminatory speech in the press are as old as 1881. France is one of the most tolerant countries of the world, religiously speaking, according to a survey conducted in 15 different countries.
Main article: Foreign relations of France See also: European Union, Latin Union, Francophonie, United Nations Security Council, and NATO
Signing of the Rome Treaty. France is a founding member of the EEC in 1957 and the European Union in 1993. France is a member of the United Nations and serves as one of the permanent members of the UN Security Council with veto rights. It is also a member of the G8, World Trade Organisation (WTO), the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) and the Indian Ocean Commission (COI). It is an associate member of the Association of Caribbean States (ACS) and a leading member of the International Francophone Organisation (OIF) of fifty-one fully or partly French-speaking countries. It hosts the headquarters of the OECD, UNESCO, Interpol, Alliance Base and the International Bureau for Weights and Measures. In 1953, France received a request from the United Nations to pick a coat of arms that would represent it internationally. Thus the French emblem was adopted and is currently used on passports. French foreign policy has been largely shaped by membership of the European Union, of which it was a founding member. In the 1960s, France sought to exclude the British from the organisation, seeking to build its own standing in continental Europe. Since the 1960s, France has developed close ties with reunified Germany to become the most influential driving force of the EU.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy and United States President Barack Obama, before NATO summit, in Strasbourg, on 3 April 2009. France is a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, but under President de Gaulle, it excluded itself from the joint military command to avoid the American domination of its foreign and security policies. However, as a result of Nicolas Sarkozy's (much criticised in France by the leftists and by a part of the right) pro-American politics, France rejoined the NATO joint military command on 4 April 2009. In the early 1990s, the country drew considerable criticism from other nations for its underground nuclear tests in French Polynesia. France vigorously opposed the 2003 invasion of Iraq, straining bilateral relations with the US and the UK. France retains strong political and economic influence in its former African colonies (Françafrique) and has supplied economic aid and troops for peace-keeping missions in the Ivory Coast and Chad. France has the second largest network of diplomatic missions in the world, second only to the USA.
In 2007, France is the third largest (in absolute numbers) donor of development aid in the world, behind the US and Germany, but ahead of Japan and the UK. This represents 0.5 % of its GDP, in this regard rating as average among the developed countries and not meeting the International Aid Target of 0.7 %. The organism managing the French help is the French Development Agency, which finances primarily humanitarian projects in sub-Saharan Africa. The main goals of this help are "developing infrastructure, access to health care and education, the implementation of appropriate economic policies and the consolidation of the rule of law and democracy."
Main articles: Economy of France and Energy in France Further information: List of French companies and Economic history of France
The first completed Airbus A380 at the ³A380 Reveal´ event in Toulouse on 18 January 2005. Airbus is a symbol of the globalisation of the French and European economy. A member of the G8 group of leading industrialised countries, it is ranked as the world's fifth largest and Europe's second largest economy by nominal GDP; with 39 of the 500 biggest companies of the world in 2010, France ranks world's 4th and Europe's 1st in the Fortune Global 500 ahead of Germany and the UK. France joined 11 other EU members to launch the euro on 1 January 1999, with euro coins and banknotes completely replacing the French franc (õ) in early 2002.
France derives 79% of its electricity from nuclear power, the highest percentage in the world. France has a mixed economy which combines extensive private enterprise (nearly 2.5 million companies registered) with substantial (though declining) state enterprise and government intervention (see dirigisme). The government retains considerable influence over key segments of infrastructure sectors, with majority ownership of railway, electricity, aircraft, nuclear power and telecommunications. It has been gradually relaxing its control over these sectors since the early 1990s. The government is slowly corporatising the state sector and selling off holdings in France Télécom, Air France, as well as the insurance, banking, and defence industries. France has an important aerospace industry led by the European consortium Airbus, and has its own national spaceport, the Centre Spatial Guyanais.
France is part of a monetary union, the Eurozone (dark blue), and of the EU single market. According to the WTO, in 2009 France was the world's sixth-largest exporter and the fourthlargest importer of manufactured goods. In 2008, France was the third-largest recipient of foreign direct investment among OECD countries at $117.9 billion, ranking behind Luxembourg (where foreign direct investment was essentially monetary transfers to banks located in that country) and the United States ($316.1 billion), but above the United Kingdom ($96.9 billion), Germany ($24.9 billion), or Japan ($24.4 billion). In the same year, French companies invested $220 billion outside of France, ranking France as the second most important outward direct investor in the OECD, behind the United States ($311.8 billion), and ahead of the United Kingdom ($111.4 billion), Japan ($128 billion) and Germany ($156.5 billion). With 39 of the 500 biggest companies of the world in 2010, France ranks 4th in the Fortune Global 500, behind the USA, Japan and China, but ahead of Germany and the UK. France is the smallest emitter of carbon dioxide among the seven most industrialized countries in the world, due to its heavy investment in nuclear power. As a result of large investments in nuclear technology, most of the electricity produced in the country is generated by 59 nuclear power plants (78% in 2006, up from only 8% in 1973, 24% in 1980, and 75% in 1990). In this context, renewable energies (see the power cooperative Enercoop) are having difficulties taking off the ground.
Vineyards near Carcassonne.
France has historically been an important producer of agricultural products. Large tracts of fertile land, the application of modern technology, and EU subsidies have combined to make France the leading agricultural producer and exporter in Europe (representing alone 20% of the EU's agricultural production) and the world's third biggest exportator of agricultural products. Wheat, poultry, dairy, beef, and pork, as well as an internationally recognized foodstuff and wine industry are primary French agricultural exports. EU agriculture subsidies to France have decreased for the last years, but still amounted to $8 billion in 2007. This same year, France sold 33.4 billion euros of transformed agricultural products. Agriculture is thus an important sector of France's economy : 3.5% of the active population is employed in agriculture, whereas the total agri-food industry made up 4.2% of French GDP in 2005.
The French GDP per capita is similar to the GDP per capita of other comparable European countries such as Germany and the United Kingdom. GDP per capita is determined by (i) productivity per hour worked, which in France is the highest of the G8 countries in 2005, according to the OECD, (ii) the number of hours worked, which is one the lowest of developed countries, and (iii) the employment rate. France has one of the lowest 15±64 years employment rates of the OECD countries: in 2004, only 69% of the French population aged 15± 64 years were in employment, compared to 80% in Japan, 79% in the UK, 77% in the US, and 71% in Germany.
La Défense, just outside Paris, is the largest business district in Europe. This gap is due to the very low employment rates at both age extremes: the employment rate of people aged 55±64 was 38.3% in 2007, compared to 46.6% in the EU15; for the 15±24 years old, the employment rate was 31.5% in 2007, compared to 37.2% in EU25. These low employment rates are explained by the high minimum wages which prevent low productivity workers ± such as young people ± from easily entering the labour market, ineffective university curricula that fail to prepare students adequately for the labour market, and, concerning the older workers, restrictive legislation on work and incentives for premature retirement.
The unemployment rate decreased from 9% in 2006 to 7% in 2008 but remains one of the highest in Europe. In June 2009, the unemployment rate for France was 9.4%. Shorter working hours and the reluctance to reform the labour market are mentioned as weak spots of the French economy in the view of the right, when the left mentions the lack of government policies fostering social justice. Liberal economists have stressed repeatedly over the years that the main issue of the French economy is an issue of structural reforms, in order to increase the size of the working population in the overall population, reduce the taxes' level and the administrative burden. Keynesian economists have different answers to the unemployment issue, and their theories led to the 35-hour workweek law in the early 2000s, which turned out to be a failure in reducing unemployment. Afterwards, between 2004 and 2008, the Government made some supplyoriented reforms to combat unemployment but met with fierce resistance, especially with the contrat nouvelle embauche and the contrat première embauche which both were eventually repealed. The current Government is experiencing the Revenu de solidarité active.
Main article: Tourism in France
The Palace of Versailles is one of the most popular tourist destinations in France. With 81.9 million foreign tourists in 2007, France is ranked as the first tourist destination in the world, ahead of Spain (58.5 million in 2006) and the United States (51.1 million in 2006). This 81.9 million figure excludes people staying less than 24 hours in France, such as Northern Europeans crossing France on their way to Spain or Italy during the summer.
The Mont Saint-Michel is one of the most visited sites of France France features cities of high cultural interest (Paris being the foremost, but also Toulouse, Strasbourg, Bordeaux, Lyon...), beaches and seaside resorts, ski resorts, and rural regions that
many enjoy for their beauty and tranquillity (green tourism). Small and picturesque French villages of quality heritage (such as Collonges-la-Rouge or Locronan) are promoted through the association Les Plus Beaux Villages de France (litt. "The Most Beautiful Villages of France"). The "Remarkable Gardens" label is a list of the over two hundred gardens classified by the French Ministry of Culture. This label is intended to protect and promote remarkable gardens and parks. France also attracts many religious pilgrims on their way to St. James, or to Lourdes, a town in the Hautes-Pyrénées that hosts a few million visitors a year. France, and especially Paris, have some of the world's largest and renowned museums, including the Louvre, which is the most visited art museum in the world, but also the Musée d'Orsay, mostly devoted to impressionism, and Beaubourg, dedicated to Contemporary art.
The Château de Chambord is one of the many French royal residences of the Loire Valley. Disneyland Paris is France's and indeed Europe's most popular theme park, with 15,405,000 combined visitors to the resort's Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios Park in 2009. The historical theme park Puy du Fou in Vendée is the second most visited park of France. Other popular theme parks are the Futuroscope of Poitiers and the Parc Astérix. With more than 10 millions tourists a year, the French Riviera (or Côte d'Azur), in south-eastern France, is the second leading tourist destination in the country, after the Parisian region. According to the Côte d'Azur Economic Development Agency, it benefits from 300 days of sunshine per year, 115 kilometres (71 mi) of coastline and beaches, 18 golf courses, 14 ski resorts and 3,000 restaurants. Each year the Côte d'Azur hosts 50% of the world's superyacht fleet, with 90% of all superyachts visiting the region's coast at least once in their lifetime. An other major destination are the Châteaux of the Loire Valley, this World Heritage Site is noteworthy for the quality of its architectural heritage, in its historic towns such as Amboise, Angers, Blois, Chinon, Nantes, Orléans, Saumur, and Tours, but in particular for its castles (châteaux), such as the Châteaux d'Amboise, de Chambord, d'Ussé, de Villandry and Chenonceau, which illustrate to an exceptional degree the ideals of the French Renaissance. The most popular tourist sites include: (according to a 2003 ranking visitors per year): Eiffel Tower (6.2 million), Louvre Museum (5.7 million), Palace of Versailles (2.8 million), Musée d'Orsay (2.1 million), Arc de Triomphe (1.2 million), Centre Pompidou (1.2 million), MontSaint-Michel (1 million), Château de Chambord (711,000), Sainte-Chapelle (683,000), Château
du Haut-K nigsbourg (549,000), Puy de Dôme (500,000), Musée Picasso (441,000), Carcassonne (362,000).
Main articles: Transport in France and Rail transport in France
A TGV Sud-Est, which can reach a maximum speed of 300 km/h (186.41 mph). The railway network of France, which as of 2008 stretches 29,473 kilometres (18,314 mi) is the second most extensive in Western Europe after the German one. It is operated by the SNCF, and high-speed trains include the Thalys, the Eurostar and TGV, which travels at 320 km/h (199 mph) in commercial use. The Eurostar, along with the Eurotunnel Shuttle, connects with the United Kingdom through the Channel Tunnel. Rail connections exist to all other neighbouring countries in Europe, except Andorra. Intra-urban connections are also well developed with both underground services and tramway services complementing bus services. There are approximately 1,027,183 kilometres (638,262 mi) of serviceable roadway in France, ranking it the most extensive network of the European continent. The Paris region is enveloped with the most dense network of roads and highways that connect it with virtually all parts of the country. French roads also handle substantial international traffic, connecting with cities in neighboring Belgium, Spain, Andorra, Monaco, Switzerland, Germany and Italy. There is no annual registration fee or road tax; however, motorway usage is through tolls except in the vicinity of large communes. The new car market is dominated by domestic brands such as Renault (27% of cars sold in France in 2003), Peugeot (20.1%) and Citroën (13.5%). Over 70% of new cars sold in 2004 had diesel engines, far more than contained petrol or LPG engines. France possesses the Millau Viaduct, the world's tallest bridge, and has built many important bridges such as the Pont de Normandie. There are 475 airports in France. Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport located in the vicinity of Paris is the largest and busiest airport in the country, handling the vast majority of popular and commercial traffic and connecting Paris with virtually all major cities across the world. Air France is the national carrier airline, although numerous private airline companies provide domestic and international travel services. There are ten major ports in France, the largest of which is in Marseille, which also is the largest bordering the Mediterranean Sea. 12,261 kilometres (7,619 mi) of waterways traverse France including the Canal du Midi which connects the Mediterranean Sea to the Atlantic Ocean through the Garonne river.
According to a 2010 BBC poll based on 29,977 responses in 28 countries, France is globally seen as a positive influence in the world's affairs: 49 % have a positive view of the country's influence, whereas 19 % have a negative view. The Nation Brand Index of 2008 suggested that France has the second best international reputation, only behind Germany. In January 2010, the International Living ranked France as "best country to live in", ahead of 193 other countries surveyed, for the fifth year running, according to a survey taking in account 9 criteria of quality of life: Cost of Living, Culture and Leisure, Economy, Environment, Freedom, Health, Infrastructure, Safety and Risk and Climate. France has historical strong ties with Human Rights. Since the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen of 1789, France is often nicknamed as "the country of Human Rights". Furthermore, in 1948, a Frenchman, René Cassin, was one of the main redactors of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which was adopted by the UN members in Paris. National symbols strongly reflect the heritage of the Revolution. The four official symbols of the Republic, as stated by the Constitution, all commemorate events from the period. Bastille Day, the national holiday, commemorate the Fête de la Fédération, held on 14 July 1790 to celebrate the storming of the Bastille. The origins of Tricolored flag also date back to the Revolution, as the cockade was the symbols adopted by the revolutionaries in 1789. As for the national anthem La Marseillaise, it was written in 1792 as a war song for the French Army. The official motto of the French Republic, "Liberté, égalité, fraternité" (Liberty, equality, brotherhood) also appeared during the French Revolution. Marianne, unofficial symbol, is an allegorical figure of liberty and of the Republic and also appeared at the time of the Revolution. A common and traditional symbol of the French people is the Gallic rooster. Its origins date back to Antiquity, since the Latin word Gallus meant both "rooster" and "inhabitant of Gaul". Then this figure gradually became the most widely shared representation of the French, used by French monarchs, then by the Revolution and under the successive republican regimes as representation of the national identity, used for some stamps and coins. Although it is not an official symbol of the Republic, it is the most common image to symbolize France in the collective imagination and abroad.
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