France to combat violence against women with new initiative

ANI | Updated: Nov 26, 2017 05:28 IST

Washington D.C. [United States], November 26 (ANI): Describing the French society as "sick with sexism," President Emmanuel Macron launched an initiative to combat violence and harassment against women.

In a nearly hour-long speech at the Elysee Presidential Palace on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, President Macron said, "France must no longer be one of those countries where women are afraid" and that it was "essential that shame change sides," reported the New York Times.

He has made gender equality one of the main themes of his five-year term in office.

Among proposed measures, Macron said legal complaints will be rushed through the system.

To encourage more women to speak out, Macron said that from the start of next year, an online alarm system will be set up for instant contact with police.

Other proposals that could be included in a 2018 draft law include criminalizing street harassment and extending the statute of limitation for the rape of minors to 30 years from 20 years.

Macron also said he was personally in favour of setting the age of sexual consent at 15. Currently, France has no minimum age for sexual consent.

Macron had observed a minute's silence for the 123 women killed by their partners or ex-partners in 2016.

During his election campaign last year, Macron said that the issue of violence against women would be a priority for his presidency. (ANI)