France is “feminist country” battling to put thought into action

Share Button

A cultural shift must accompany government policies aimed at ending gender discrimination in France, the country’s minister for gender equality said.

Plans by the French government are underway to tackle issues such as harassment and the gender pay gap, but such policies will be hard to enact without sweeping changes in attitudes throughout the country, Marlene Schiappa told reporters.

French companies must erase their gender pay gaps or face possible fines under a recent government proposal. Fines have also been proposed for sexual harassment on the streets, such as catcalling and obscene remarks.

“The idea is to lower the threshold of tolerance,” Schiappa said on Tuesday on the sidelines of the United Nations’ session of the Commission on the Status of Women.

“Let people see what they were blinded to.”

President Emmanuel Macron, elected last year, has said he wants to make gender equality a top priority during his five-year term.

Appointed by Macron, Schiappa, 35, has worked in advertising, written and edited books including a collection called “Letters to My Uterus”, and founded a popular blog for working mothers.

Her tendency to outspokenness often earns her criticism from France’s right wing.

“I think France is a feminist country,” Schiappa said, citing French author Simone de Beauvoir, whose book “The Second Sex” is widely considered an essential treatise in modern feminist theory.

“France is actually the birthplace of philosophical feminism,” Schiappa said. “The problem is, we want to now go from philosophy to action.”

Proposals to address issues like sexual violence and cyberharassment follow a “citizens consultation” of several months that queried 55,000 women on gender issues, Schiappa said.

“What is difficult is to change mentalities,” she said. “What is really hard is to involve everybody.”

Some countries are leading the way in gender equality but none is truly ahead, she added.

“Give me one country that is really an example for the rest of the world. I don’t think there is one,” she said.

Schiappa praised the #Metoo movement of women recounting sexual harassment and assault – which started in the wake of claims against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein – and the ensuing #Timesup effort to fight back in French workplaces.

French actress Catherine Deneuve recently made headlines denouncing the #Metoo campaign as puritanism gone too far.

Schiappa pointed to France’s first lady Brigitte Macron as a contemporary of Deneuve’s – but with far different views.

“The first lady is quite political,” said Schiappa. “She is a free woman, she is the same generation as Catherine Deneuve, but she symbolizes freedom.”


Source: Reuters
Reporting by Ellen Wulfhorst, editing by Jared Ferrie

Rotating Ads

Place your ad here

Going out

Who the hell is Sugar Sammy? – That moment your wife tells you you’re going to see a French-speaking comedy in Paris

GOING OUT
Anglophones in Paris are fortunate to be able to enjoy a thriving English-speaking comedy scene, with regular stand-up nights across the city. Personally, I’ve had the pleasure of seeing most of these and have even [...]

Community News

COMMUNITY NEWS

360€ for 50 Hours Tuition!!! The Newest French Language School in Paris offers the most accessible rates

French language classes at Centre Zenith in the 20th arrondissement began on October 18th 2018. Founded by Sourav Choudhury, Centre Zenith brings experienced and native French speakers to the classroom where courses are explained with […]

Random Stories

Cover features

Just for Fun

interviews

Health

Family

Living

LIFE

Grumpy in Paris – 5 ways to beat the upcoming ‘winter blues’

Living in one of the most beautiful cities in the world has its many perks. A wealth of galleries, museums, delicious food, beautiful walks and a melodic language under no matter what context. But all pros have their cons and one of the lesser points of Paris these days is the ‘rentrée effect’ where people have come back from their holidays, said goodbye to summer and are now waiting for winter (even though we’ve only just hit autumn). Here are some ways to beat those winter blues and enjoy the colder season ahead … […]

Education

EDUCATION

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS & RESEARCHERS: GET ANSWERS TO THEIR QUESTIONS AND PAPERWORK IN ONE SINGLE PLACE! WELCOME DESK PARIS 2018

FOR THE 16TH CONSECUTIVE YEAR, THE CITÉ INTERNATIONALE UNIVERSITAIRE DE PARIS HAS SET UP A MULTI-SERVICE WELCOME AREA FOR FOREIGN STUDENTS AND RESEARCHERS, FROM THE END OF AUGUST THROUGH NOVEMBER, WITH THE SUPPORT OF THE CITY […]

COMMUNITY NEWS

Non-Profit – The Paris Institute for Critical Thinking begin university quality courses in English

Paris is hard to beat for its cultural and intellectual vibrancy. But the city’s English-speaking inhabitants – whether from France or abroad — do not have many opportunities to employ the language in sophisticated intellectual […]

Use our IG hashtag #expatriatesmagazine - We print our favourites

Something is wrong.
Instagram token error.

Random Listing