France still 'very sexist', watchdog says, as women report widespread violence

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Five years into the #MeToo movement, French society "remains very sexist in all of its spheres,” a government-created equality watchdog said in an annual report Monday that also sounded the alarm about double-digit rates of sexual violence reported by women.

The High Council for Equality between Women and Men called for a national “emergency plan” to combat what it described as ”the massive, violent and sometimes lethal consequences" of sexism against women.

In a survey commissioned by the council, one-third of women reported having been badgered by their partners into sexual acts that they didn't want. Around one in seven of the survey's women respondents said men had forced sex on them, and a similar number reported having been hit and shoved by their partners, the council said.

The council's president, Sylvie Pierre-Brossolette, expressed particular concern about sexism among younger men “bathed in social media, digital (technology), pornography.” She said sexism must be "fought from the youngest of ages.” The council will present its findings to French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday, she added.

“Young people, in particular, are brought up digitally on these scenes of mundane violence, of relations between men and women that are completely of domination and dominated, and that has impregnated society," Pierre-Brossolette said, speaking to broadcaster France Inter.

“Uprooting sexism is very hard,” she added.

Still, the equality council described the overall situation for women in France as “alarming.”

(AFP)


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