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French President Emmanuel Macron.(Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Taking action

Macron to make ‘gender-based insults’ a legal offense in France

By WITW Staff on November 27, 2017

As part of a broad initiative to combat sexual harassment and assault, French President Emmanuelle Macron promised to make “gender-based insults” punishable by law.

As France24 reports, Macron outlined his plans in a speech marking the International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women. “The streets should not become hell for the women of France,” he said. Macron noted that the Ministry of the Interior has launched consultations that will lead to new measures “in a few weeks’ time.”

“We will … be creating an offense which will give the police the right to issue fines if there is a verbal attack on a woman,” he said.

The future draft law may also include a number of measures that will make it easier for sexual assault victims to report to police—measures like extending the statute of limitations for the rape of minors from 20 to 30 years, and allowing rape victims to make their initial complaints on online.

In an effort to help women get home safely, the law may implement an “on demand” service for public transit, which would let women ask buses to stop anywhere along their route at night.

“Let’s seal a pact of equality between men and women,” Macron said, adding that when it comes to sexual harassment and assault, “it is essential that shame changes camp.”

In France, half of all women, according to France24, say they are victims of sexual assault. Despite recent progress, it’s still a difficult topic for women to discuss. Below watch a video in which several women talk about their experiences with sexual harassment and assault, including a shocking experience a woman named Mara had on a city bus.

Read the full story at France24.


Gender equality minister in France proposes instant fines for street sexual harassers