France: Watchdog Warns Society Remains "Very Sexist"

The government-created High Council for Equity between Women and Men (HCE) released its annual report on Monday, in which it claimed that French society “remains very sexist in all of its spheres.”

France: Watchdog Warns Society Remains "Very Sexist"
Image credit: Reuben Mcfeeters / Unsplash

Facts

  • The government-created High Council for Equity between Women and Men (HCE) released its annual report on Monday, in which it claimed that French society “remains very sexist in all of its spheres.”
  • The equality watchdog called for a national “emergency plan” in response to the alleged “massive, violent and sometimes lethal consequences” of sexism against women. According to its report, over 10% of women reported that they experienced sexual violence.
  • The HCE surveyed 2.5k people in France and found that more people are aware of gender inequality due to the “#MeToo” movement, but the report added that "bias and gender stereotypes, sexist cliches and everyday sexism are still commonplace."
  • 20% of males between the ages of 25 and 34 said bragging about sexual exploits was necessary to “be respected as a man in society.” 25% of men say sexual violence gets “too much attention,” while 14% of women said they had a sexual act forced on them.
  • HCE’s president, Sylvie Pierre-Brossolette, sounded the alarm about sexism among younger men which she attributes to culture from social media and pornography. She adds that sexism must be fought as early as possible.
  • The HCE will present its findings to French Pres. Macron on Wednesday; the council proposed a 10-point plan to counter sexism including regulation. Macron’s admin. has taken a progressive approach to women’s issues offering free birth control to women up to 25 years old and attempting to constitutionally guarantee abortion rights.

Sources: Al Jazeera, Associated Press, NDTV, Local, and ABC.

Narratives

  • Establishment-critical narrative, as provided by The Guardian. Sexism has stained France for generations, and it is only getting worse. Women continue to be mistreated and abused while men’s attitudes toward women become colder and more vitriolic. The “macho” response to feminist movements has brought even more violence and harm to women, and France must act quickly and decisively to combat sexism.
  • Pro-establishment narrative, as provided by Indian Express. While France’s society has been patriarchal in the past and women’s rights have not been where they need to be, French officials are working to promote equality amongst the genders. Social norms that have been reinforced for decades and centuries cannot be undone within a few years, but France is working to make the country more equitable for everyone.