Silent no more

Women politicians in France declare they will no longer tolerate sexual harassment

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Christine Lagarde. (Getty Images)

Seventeen women, all current or former ministers in France, have signed a declaration decrying sexual harassment in politics. The signatories — which include Christine Lagarde, head of the International Monetary Fund — detailed instances of sexism they’d experienced while working in government and called for a toughening of the law against sexual harassment which would include the creation of specialist desks within police stations to deal with harassment claims.

“They feel entitled to have a laugh and to make unwelcome gestures such as patting a woman on the buttocks,” said one of the signatories, Women’s Rights Minister Yvette Roudy. “It’s time women talk about it and make it known that they are not being complimented but are effectively being treated as whores.”

Last Monday, French deputy speaker of the National Assembly, Denis Baupin, resigned after being accused by former Green Party colleagues of groping one female Green Party member and sending explicit messages to others. His wife, Emmanuelle Cosse, who serves as housing minister, did not sign the declaration.

Read the full story at BBC News.

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