France struggles to shake off everyday sexism, particularly among young men


Despite the #MeToo movement, sexism remains at an "alarming" level in France with many young men seeing discriminatory or violent behaviour against women as acceptable, a report by France's High Authority on Equality (HCE) revealed.

"Sexism is not decreasing in France. On the contrary, some of its most violent manifestations are worsening and the younger generations are most affected," the HCE wrote in its report published Monday, describing the situation as "alarming".

Based on a study of 2,500 people, the HCE, an independent, consultative body, found that while most respondents rejected sexism in principle, "they fail to reject it in practice".

While there has been "undeniable progress in women's rights" the HCE found that five years after #MeToo "French society remains deeply sexist in all spheres" with sexist stereotypes and clichés proving hard to counter, particularly among the 25-34 age group.

Forced to change behaviour

Thirty-seven percent of respondents said they had experienced non-consensual sex, including unprotected sex at the behest of their partner (12 percent) and sex under the influence of alcohol or drugs (7 percent).

Ninety percent of women questioned said they had altered their daily behaviour because of sexism – half had stopped going out, doing activities alone or dressing as they please.

A quarter of them downplayed sexual violence saying "too much attention [was] being paid to sexual assaults".

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