In many ways, there’s a lot stacked against Mayors Anne Hidalgo, of Paris, and Muriel Bowser, of Washington, D.C. Even as they made crepes at an event with public school students in a bistro on Capitol Hill, the challenge of being women leaders at the forefront of tackling climate change weighed heavily on their minds. Those challenges ring louder than ever following a raucous U.S. election that gave an authoritative voice to misogyny and climate skepticism.
Talking amongst themselves at the event on Friday, the two lamented just how few women mayors there are in the world. But they didn’t become mayors of two major cities just to revel in the glory, Hidalgo tells CityLab. “It's very hard for women to be where we are, because the world of the power is made for men, by men,” she says. “And when women [gain] access to power, it's not just for the power. It is to do something.”