“Soul-searching” About the Treatment of Women in France After DSK Case
While legislators claimed the accusations of sexual assault against former International Monetary Fund director Dominique Strauss-Kahn had no bearing on their support for the new law, that case indeed set off “soul-searching about France’s laissez-faire attitude toward the impunity of the powerful.” Strauss-Kahn, at one time considered a leading contender to be the next president of France, saw his political fortunes and personal reputation turned upside down after he was accused of sexually assaulting a housekeeper in a Manhattan hotel last May; the charges have been dropped but he still faces a civil suit. He has since been detained by French police for questioning about a prostitution ring.
50 percent of the members of France’s cabinet are now women. But, just days before the July 17 vote on the new law, catcalls and hoots from male politicians in the National Assembly were directed at Housing Minister Cécile Duflot while she spoke about an architecture project. The incident is evidence for why the law is more than needed. But it also show how very much still remains to be done to ensure that women are truly regarded and treated as equals in France.
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Catcalls Plague France’s National Assembly, a Country Without a Sexual Harassment Law
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