French Green Senior Honoured …….
….. nearly 95 years of Feminism and Ecology ! 1meter52 and green eyes filled with generosity and humanism. This is Gisèle Chaleyat who has been chosen as the best loved citizen in her district of Paris (1er).
She was the first to lead an exclusively feminine list for the local elections in the seventies. She is also the co-founder of the French Greens and the one who counts the more years in her age …. which does not prevent her from being much younger in spirit than some of our leading figures.She was born in 1917, and with her hat as green as Irish fields and her water green scarf she walks the aisles of the markets handing out flyers and campaigning. As she says : « We, Greens are not indispensable, but we are useful ».
A widow at the age of 30, Gisèle came to Paris with her two daughters under her arm and the conviction that women don’t get what they deserve, and this is what led her to ecology, as she says : «they are not as machist as the others if you keep watch! »
Her greatest souvenir? Lying down at La Bastille in an anti Nuke demonstration.
Her motto ? «You must get involved. Getting involved is being useful….. no matter which political party.»
Her everyday routine ? She walks and stops at cafés to read her newspaper, where she is a familiar figure and everybody knows her. Then everyday she has meetings : parents’ associations, fundations, schools …..
And most probably that is what keeps her on the go and makes her the best loved citizen in her district : keeping in touch with what is going on, attentive to people’s concerns, generous with her time.