Somehow they have shaped the history of their municipalities. On the occasion of International Women’s Day on March 8, these “extraordinary women” were honored.
They are only 7 out of the 43 mayors of the Sambre-Avesnois area who have been elected at the head of their municipalities. Aurélie Welonek is one of them. At the age of 36, she is also the youngest mayor in the area and the 2nd youngest in the Nordic region. And she’s proud of it!
The mother of two little girls, Aurélie Welonek, had never imagined that one day she would lead the municipal team in Bousignies-sur-Roc. “This is the great challenge for all women politicians in power, managing their public life and their personal lives on a daily basis. You have to find the middle ground.”she tells.
At the political level, Aurélie Welonek believes that women’s ideas bring real wealth to the management of public life. “We have different visions and sensitivities, although it is not always easy for some to accept them”, she explains. “Sometimes there are men who find it difficult to be led by women or to take orders from them. It does not always happen ”she points out.
But that is not enough to deter the mayor of Bousignies-sur-Roc: “You have to impose yourself in the way you manage the municipality. We have to stand out and get even better, because sometimes there are still some retrograde judgments today. ”
“You have to keep fighting and live your passion to the last in order to approach life and overcome its difficulties.” USThat is the message that Françoise Nastoga, President of the Marpent Culture Loisir Association for more than 40 years, wanted to convey.
Pure Marpentoise, this amazing lady has made her passion for culture and her values of sharing and mutual help a daily commitment. She runs several ceramics and porcelain decoration workshops in the association, “a group of friends, almost a family in the service of art and others”. But not only.
The association has also set up several charitable actions for the benefit of the municipality but also African countries. “I can not remain insensitive when we see dramatic situations”, betror Françoise Nastoga. Many years ago, she and her husband chose to adopt a child from Madagascar.
They marked the life of their municipality for more than 50 years and their history is not ready to stop. “Les fauvettes” or majorettes in Jeumont are now an integral part of the city’s cultural heritage. And behind this historic emblem, yet another unique woman.
Anne-Marie Maurage has for years devoted herself to training majorettes. The association, founded in 1970, has sometimes counted up to three generations of mothers and daughters. They paraded all over France from Nice to the Champs Elysées in Paris via Italy or Luxembourg during a parade in front of the Grand Duchess.
“Everything was taken care of by the association, which made it possible for girls from all walks of life to join our ranks. Not everyone had the means to dance. We did this to make it accessible to everyone. It was like a big family ” remembers Anne-Marie Maurage, who adds: “It was mostly a way of escaping. In the past, girls went out less often. It was an opportunity for the songbirds to discover other regions and other countries ”. If you want to pay tribute to them, head to the big May Day parade in Jeumont.
“Women are the future of men”. It is this famous quote from Aragon taken up by Ferrat that was remembered “Marco” on this day dedicated to women. Widow of the famous politician Umberto Battist, Marcelle is one of the extraordinary women and activists who have shaped the life of their municipality.
Marcelle remembers all the great festivities and “dinner dancer” on the subject “of a village in search of its past”, organized by the associations “l’amicale laïque” (created by Umberto Battist) or even “voluntary gymnastics”. Everyone was invited to these celebrations, which honored the most beautiful eras that France had ever known.
Originally from Valenciennes, Marcelle Battist has also shaped many generations of her village. She settled there as a schoolteacher in 1961. About fifteen years later, she became its director. “I was lucky to have a man who was convinced that woman was the man’s equality, and that was what I transferred to my daughters as well as the importance of not having complexes and not hesitating to get started in public. life”, entrusts us Marcelle Battist, who today has the chance to be a great-grandmother to 3 grandchildren.