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Wed Jan 25, 2023, 02:10 PM

France remains 'very sexist': Watchdog sounds alarm

France remains ‘very sexist’: Watchdog sounds alarm

The country’s equality council warns of high rates of sexual violence, says young generations worst affected.

Protesters demonstrate against inequality, violence and sexual harassment against women in Paris in November 2021 [File: Benoit Tessier/Reuters]
Published On 23 Jan 202323 Jan 2023

Five years into the #MeToo movement, French society “remains very sexist in all of its spheres”, a government-created equality watchdog says in its annual report. The High Council for Equality between Women and Men also sounded the alarm on high rates of sexual violence reported by women as it called on Monday for a national “emergency plan” to combat “the massive, violent and sometimes lethal consequences” of sexism. In a survey commissioned by the council, one-third of women said they have been badgered by their partners into sexual acts they did not want. About one in seven respondents said men had forced sex on them, and a similar number reported having been hit and shoved by their partners, the council said.
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“Young people in particular are brought up digitally on these scenes of mundane violence, of relations between men and women that are completely of domination and dominated and that has impregnated society,” Pierre-Brossolette said, speaking to the broadcaster France Inter. “Uprooting sexism is very hard,” she said.
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The council proposed a 10-point plan of action, which includes tougher regulation of online content. Other suggestions included making training against sexism obligatory in workplaces and banning adverts that suggest some children’s toys are for boys and others for girls.

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Macron’s government has increased police resources against domestic violence and offered free birth control to all women up to age 25. Politicians are also working to constitutionally guarantee France’s abortion rights with a bill intended to prevent any of the rollbacks in reproductive rights seen elsewhere, including in the United States. Still, the equality council described the overall situation for women in France as “alarming”. “Sexism is not retreating in France,” the council’s report said. “On the contrary, some of its most violent manifestations are getting worse, and the young generations are the most affected.”


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