France approves law about equality between women and men

REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen

A French law about equality between women and men was promulgated on Tuesday.


After months of discussions, the law about “real equality between women and men” was approved by the French President.

The law which was proposed by the Minister for women’s rights, Najat Vallaud Belkacem, aims to guarantee equality between women and men.

It includes a section on parental leave that encourages ‘new’ fathers to take parental leave after the birth of their child. This aims to establish equality between mothers and fathers with regards to domestic responsibilities.

The measure about abortion – which has been legal in France since 1975 – was the most controversial. The bill scraps the requirement that women must prove that they are in “distress” in order to have the right to abort. With this new law, they just have to show that they do not want to continue being pregnant.

Despite demonstrations against this change last January, the French Constitutional Council declared that the bill is constitutional and the two chambers of Parliament approved it.

No MP voted against the law. The left-wing MPs and most centrists voted in favour of it, and most of the right-wing MPs abstained.

The law also plans to set up measures to reinforce equality at work, to protect women who suffer from domestic violence, to fight against sexist stereotypes in the media, and to help women in poverty.

After the adoption of the law, Najat Vallaud Belkacem said she would make sure that “implementing texts would be adopted by the end of the year”.

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