‘Sick With Sexism,’ France Must Fight Violence Against Women, Macron Says

The feminist affiliation Osez le Féminisme stated in a press release that sure measures appeared “pertinent” however that “without financing, any plan to communicate, to train, to raise awareness or to support victims will be in vain.” Feminist demonstrations have been held throughout the nation on Saturday, together with in Paris.

Of the 225,000 girls who have been the victims of violence in France final yr, lower than one in 5 pressed expenses, in line with official statistics.

Mr. Macron praised the “clamor” that has risen towards sexual harassment and assault, a reference to the outpouring of accounts posted by girls on social networks within the wake of the Harvey Weinstein revelations. Many have carried the hashtags #MeToo or #BalanceTonPorc, which means Expose Your Pig. Mr. Macron stated the accounts made him really feel “horror and shame” as a person and a politician.

But he additionally stated he didn’t need France to develop into a rustic of “denunciation” the place “each relationship between men and women is suspicious.”

“We are not a puritan society,” Mr. Macron stated, echoing a longstanding notion in France that gender relations are completely different right here than elsewhere, particularly within the United States.

Caroline De Haas, a outstanding French feminist, stated later on Twitter that Mr. Macron “hasn’t understood what is going on in the country.” She described his plans as a “scattering of measures, some of which address our demands, but without any financial means of enforcing them.”

Some of the measures introduced by Mr. Macron have been already anticipated in a invoice to be mentioned in Parliament subsequent yr.

Those embrace fines for aggressive catcalling or lecherous conduct towards girls in public; an extension from 20 years to 30 years of the statute of limitations in instances of sexual assault of minors; and the creation of a brand new age threshold underneath which minors can not legally consent to a sexual relationship. Mr. Macron stated he favored 15 as the brink however would let lawmakers resolve. In France, it’s unlawful for an grownup to have intercourse with somebody youthful than 15, however it’s not punishable as rape if consent is taken into account to have been given, even, in a latest case, the place the lady was as younger as 11.

Mr. Macron additionally stated the federal government would foster consciousness of gender equality in colleges and in public administrations, and make it simpler for victims of violence, harassment or discrimination to press expenses. Victims could be allowed file a criticism on-line or instantly at a hospital as a substitute of going to a police station, and to speak instantly with specifically educated cops, he stated.

Mr. Macron stated the powers of France’s tv and radio watchdog could be prolonged to cowl video video games and on-line content material as method to push again towards pornography and content material that promotes violence towards girls.

The authorities will think about “legislative changes” subsequent yr to combat cyberbullying, he stated, and can sponsor a nationwide consciousness marketing campaign.

“A cultural fight is won with images,” Marlène Schiappa, France’s junior minister for gender equality, stated earlier than Mr. Macron’s speech. “It is won with semantics, it is won with words.”

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