As women, we all know how incredibly intimidating it can be walking down the street, seeing a gang of lads and instantly hearing whistles or remarks made at you. Well, France has said enough is enough, and passed a law introducing fines for catcalling.
The law has been in works for the past few months, but was passed yesterday in light of the brutal attack on a young woman after she stood up to being catcalled.
Marie Laguerre stated that she was walking home from work when a man made dirty noises, commented and whistled at her. Outraged by his actions, she told him to shut up – and he responded by throwing an ashtray at her.
The CCTV footage of the incident went viral and left many outraged:
As a result of this, catcalling and any other form of sexual harassment in public is now outlawed, and culprits will be fined up to €750. The French minister for gender equality, Marlene Schiappa, said:
Harassment in the street has previously not been punished. From now on, it will be. What’s key is that the laws of the French republic forbid insulting, intimidating, threatening and following women in public spaces.
« La loi contre les violences sexistes et sexuelles vient d’être votée à l’unanimité. Merci aux parlementaires. Ce n’est pas une finalité mais le commencement d’une mise en œuvre résolue pour éradiquer les violences envers les femmes, un changement de société. » #BFMTV pic.twitter.com/FHRgnNnN7Q
— 🇫🇷 MarleneSchiappa (@MarleneSchiappa) August 1, 2018
Ireland doesn’t have any laws against catcalling, but last year, Dublin City Council launched an anti-street harassment poster campaign featuring the slogan “A sexist remark is not a compliment – street harassment is unwanted, unacceptable, and makes women feel unsafe”.
We’re still a long way away from a world free of street harassment, but it’s good to see steps being taken to stop it. *applause*
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