Egalité

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France remains a “very sexist” society, according to a report by a government-created equality watchdog, even as the country has made strides in gender equality five years into the #MeToo movement, the Associated Press reported.

The High Council for Equality between Women and Men released its annual report this week, calling for a national “emergency plan” to tackle what it described as “the massive, violent and sometimes lethal consequences” of sexism.

The report particularly raised the alarm about the double-digit rates of sexual violence reported by women: Surveys showed that one-third of women reported being harassed by their partners to perform unwanted sexual acts, while one in seven women said men had forced sex on them.

Sylvie Pierre-Brossolette, the council’s president, voiced special concern about sexism among younger men “bathed in social media, digital (technology), pornography.”

The council proposed a 10-point plan that includes a call for tougher regulation of online content, making anti-sexism training mandatory in the workplace, as well as prohibiting advertisements that claim some children’s toys are for boys and others for girls.

Despite the report, France has been making remarkable progress in women’s rights, say analysts: Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne is the second woman to hold the post and parliament’s lower house also has its first-ever woman president, Yaël Braun-Pivet.

The government has increased police resources to combat domestic violence and has made free birth control available to all women under the age of 25.

Lawmakers are also moving to safeguard legal abortion rights in France, the newswire wrote.

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