Women Rally Across France to Protest Sexual Harassment, Assault

Women hold placards reading
Women hold placards reading "Sexism is not my gender,“ left, and “125 women killed in 2016" during a rally protesting sexual abuse and harassment, in Marseille, southern France. VOA

Paris, October 30: Hundreds of women took to the streets of Paris and 10 other French cities to protest against sexual harassment in the wake of the scandal surrounding Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein.

In Paris, women gathered in Republic Square, waving signs bearing the #metoo hashtag used by tens of thousands of women to share personal stories of sexual harassment and assault.

Similar gatherings were also held in Marseille, Bordeaux, and Lille, among other cities.

As the #metoo campaign erupted across the United States, a similar campaign unfolded across France under the hashtag #balancetonporc or #squealonyourpig. As in America, French women have begun naming and shaming their attackers.

Since it started, several prominent figures have been targeted in French assault claims, including a lawmaker in President Emmanuel Macron’s party, a judge on France’s equivalent of a reality show “America’s Got Talent” and Oxford professor Tariq Ramadan, a leading lecturer in Islamic studies.

French-Polish filmmaker Roman Polanski, who is wanted in the U.S. for the statutory rape of a 13-year-old girl in the 1970s, has also been hit with new abuse claims.

The avalanche of accusations was unleashed weeks ago when The New York Times and The New Yorker published reports of women accusing Weinstein of rape and sexual harassment going back decades. Among the accusers were some of Hollywood’s most prominent actresses, including Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Rosanna Arquette.(VOA)

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