When a head of lettuce becomes a symbol of equality

By Melody HansenLex KlerenMisch Pautsch Switch to German for original article

Women are still strongly underrepresented in Luxembourg’s politics. Yet political representatives should reflect society in all its diversity. But how challenging is the political milieu for young parents, especially mothers or even single parents? How hard is it to enter municipal or state leadership?

It is April 10, 2020. First lockdown in Luxembourg. It is the first municipal council meeting via video conference for Esch city’s councillors. Daliah Scholl (DP) has asked her 13-year-old daughter Azadeh to stay close by. “I am a little old school when it comes to computer science. She is more familiar with it. That’s why she helped me out”, the single mother told the Lëtzebuerger Journal. The meeting, which started around 9 am and is supposed to end at 1 pm, is overrun. “Quarter past one, half past one, my daughter was sneaking me post-its to let me know she was hungry.” With no end to the meeting in sight, Scholl decided to take her mobile phone into the kitchen to start cleaning the lettuce.

It is December 17, 2020, eight months later. Parliament votes on whether municipal council meetings can continue to be held by video conference. Two middle-aged men are getting het up one after the other about “a black sheep” who washed a head of lettuce during one of the meetings – without providing any context. Such behaviour would not fit a municipal council meeting. Where would we end up? In the future, every politician could cook during important meetings or even participate while being on holidays.

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