In Luxembourg, women make up only a few mayors and aldermen compared to men. Or as the minister responsible said in 2022 in this context: "16 women mayors are not enough." And yet they do exist: Women who want to know. Several times, too. We have met them.
It is a statement by an interviewee on another topic that has stuck in my mind. "In politics we also see it, for example in the municipal elections. Not many women were elected and not many women stood for election, but that doesn't mean they don't exist." Yes, it is shocking how underrepresented women are in local politics. Figures from the National Council of Women show that in January 2023, 277 women, or 24.8 per cent, held political office in the 102 municipalities. According to the Ministry of Gender Equality, women hold only 16 mayors (against 86 men) and 37 aldermen (against 189 men) in Luxembourg.
The outcome of this year's municipal elections has heralded a change in municipal leadership in some municipalities, such as Bech, where 20-year-old Jill Goeres has been appointed the new mayor. In Nommern, 24-year-old Sophie Diderrich will lead the fate of the municipality. Joining the list of under-30 mayors is Mandy Arendt (Pirates). "When I was told that I could become mayor, I couldn't believe it, " the 27-year-old recalls. After the interview appointment, it also became known that Arendt is running on the centre list for the upcoming parliamentary elections and is co-leading candidate for the Pirates.
The reason why she was drawn to politics was due to so-called bus lists that existed in the community some time ago. "It was a list of where and at what time the children from Colmar-Berg take the school bus. All parents received these. I didn't think that was okay – it's nobody's business where my child is and when. So I got upset with the municipality, was already in contact with Sven and Marc (Sven Clement and Marc Goergen, Pirate MPs, ed.) at the time, and that's how I ended up getting involved politically." In 2021, Arendt was elected to the municipal council in the course of the complementary elections.
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