Who would argue with the idea that French women are undeniably amazing? Those of us who've spent time in Paris know how amazing French females seem -- slim, well-dressed and oozing sophistication from every pore. I've always wondered how they learn to work magic with a simple scarf...
According to the European Union's statistical agency, French women have more babies (1.89 per woman) than any other country in Europe (for example, Italy is 1.38 and German is 1.32), but they also are Europe's biggest consumers of antidepressants.
The majority of French medical school graduates are female, but most hospital department heads are male. Overall, French women earn 26% less than men, and in 2009, even childless French women who were in their 40s still earned 17% less than men. Eighty-two percent of French women aged 25-49 are employed, but 82% of National Assembly members are male.
The French Government spends 5.1% of its gross national product (twice the European Union average) on family, childcare and maternity benefits. Women are encouraged -- via tax benefits and childcare assistance -- to have children. According to Genevieve Fraisse (an expert on gender history), "French mothers have conditions women everywhere can only dream of. But stereotypes remain very much intact."