Paris town hall has been fined €90,000 for appointing too many women in senior roles, a decision branded "absurd" by the city's mayor Anne Hidalgo.
The fine was handed out by the country's public service ministry for breaching the "Sauvadet law".
One of the aims of the legislation, which came into force in 2013, was to ensure that more women within the civil service were promoted to management level. As such, no more than 60 per cent of management appointments can be from the same gender.
Back in 2018, 11 women were appointed to leadership positions in the Paris town hall, compared to five men, thus making up 69 per cent of appointees.
"This fine is obviously absurd. What's more, it is unfair, irresponsible and dangerous," Hidalgo, who has been at the helm of the French capital since 2014, told the city council on Monday.
"We must promote women with determination and vigour because the gap everywhere in France is still very large. So yes, in order to achieve parity one day, it is necessary to speed up the tempo and make sure that in the nominations there are more women than men," she added.
She also said that she would bring the cheque to the ministry herself, flanked by her female deputies and senior staff.
The Minister for Public Service, Amélie de Montchalin, stressed on Twitter that the government repealed this particular provision of the Sauvadet law in 2019.
"The women's cause deserves better!" she wrote on Twitter. "I want the fine paid by Paris for 2018 to finance concrete actions to promote women in the civil service," she said.