Nov. 27 (UPI) — French President Emmanuel Macron said he wants to criminalize gender-based insults as part of a push toward gender equality.
During a speech at the Elysee Palace to mark the International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women, Macron said he wants to “seal a pact of equality between men and women.”
“Gender-based insults will be punishable by law. Offenders will face a deterrent fine,” Macron said, adding that forms of street harassment, including “wolf whistling,” could also be subject to criminal action, Sky News reported.
“Many women have said that the first sexist violence they meet is in the street,” Macron continued. “And many harassers practice wolf whistling and other types of verbal stigmatization — and for a long time people reacted with indifference. This is unacceptable. Women must feel comfortable in public spaces. Women in the republic must not be afraid to use public spaces. This must be one of the priorities of the police.”
According to France24, a draft of a law to be introduced next year could include these measures, as well as extending the statute of limitations for the rape of minors from 20 years to 30 years. Macron also said he favors creating a minimum age of consent in France, to be set at 15. There is currently no age of consent in the country.