In 2023, get used to calling this town Pantine, Source: Depositphotos

French town changes its name to honour gender equality

French town changes its name to honour gender equality

A single letter is all it takes to bring about a message by the local administration regarding the issue

Bertrand Kern, the mayor of Pantin, a suburban town in the northeast of Paris, has announced that in 2023, the municipality will be renamed Pantine. The extra “e” at the end might not mean like much, but in French, it is a common way to turn a masculine noun into a feminine one.

And that’s precisely the idea. The change is meant as a show of support for the women in society and as a way to raise awareness about ongoing gender inequality.

The socialist mayor explained on social media that this was his New Year’s resolution (or vow) and a way to bring a positive message.

"We're adding an 'e' to the end of the city's name because that's how we want to make people aware of equality between women and men," said Kern. Adding: "Women are still paid less for their work than men, certain occupations are forbidden to them, and their place in the public space is not always well received by men."

The mayor also wants to criticize not only the existing inequality between men and women but also the violence against women by changing the name.

Putting the E in equality

Nevertheless, it was also explained that the name change will be a symbolic gesture and won’t be reflected in the signs at the entrance of the city. Nor will there be an official change of postal address, as this would require going through many administrative procedures. 

Only the giant letters forming the name "Pantin", positioned on Place de la Pointe along the Canal de l'Ourcq, will be decked out with an additional E. Meaning, at least, there will be an opportunity for the act to gain some social media visibility.



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