Abstract : Set in the general frame of the history of women and the contemporary electoral history, this thesis isprimarily a quantitative local history thesis which also includes some data from other fields (politicalscience, public law and sociology). As well as comparing it with the evolution noticed on a nationalscale, the thesis focuses therefore on the history of a given population (all the categories of electedwomen), in a given geographical area (the department of Sarthe), during a given time period (1945-2010).The increasing number of women elected in Sarthe from 1945 to 2010 and the diversification of theoffices they have had access to are grasped through a questioning typifying the problematic of thethesis, which is: what is the significance of this progress and what is the possible meaning of it? Toanswer this question, the thesis strives to show that this quantitative progress of elected women camewith some statutory or behavioral applications which limit its scope and qualify its meaning. Theadopted chronological outline emphasizes the three stages which marked the history of elected womenin Sarthe from 1945 to 2010, linking each of the stages to the general problematic. This generalarticulation of the thesis hence falls into three parts respectively entitled: The years 1945/1970: atolerated presence, an unchanged status; The years 1970/1990: an accepted presence, a containedpressure; The years 1990/2010: a recognized presence, a maintained inequality.