Gender-based insults are now against the law in France

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  • And catcalling is another story...

    France is banning gender-based insults, with President Emmanuel Macron announcing a new crack down on all street harassment and sexism.

    Wolf whistling, cat-calling and gender-based violence all fall under the actions that the French president is calling an end to, announcing in a recent speech that they are now against the law – and are therefore a punishable offence.

    During his speech the 39-year-old politician who came to power earlier this year expressed that it was unacceptable that France was ‘one of those countries where women live in fear’ and that it was time to end ‘verbal violence against women.’

    ‘Gender-based insults will be punishable by law,’ Macron stated, going on to explain that ‘offenders will face a deterrent fine.’

    ‘Many women have said that the first sexist violence they meet is in the street. Many harassers practice wolf whistling and other types of verbal stigmatisation – and for a long time people reacted with indifference’, the president explained. ‘This is unacceptable. Women must feel comfortable in public spaces. Women in the republic must not be afraid to use public spaces. This must be one of the priorities of the police.’

    During the speech which marked the International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women, Macron led a minute’s silence for the 123 women killed from domestic violence by either a partner or an ex partner in 2016.

    He then went on to list the measures that he was hoping to put in place, creating ‘an offence which will give the police the right to issue a fine if there is a verbal attack on a woman’ as well as a 24-hour national online service for sexual harassment victims and on demand evening bus stops to help women get home safely.

    Let’s use this to open conversations on gender-based street harassment.

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