French commentator Éric Zemmour accused of sexual violence against women

France — Investigation

On April 24th 2021 a female councillor publicly accused French journalist and polemicist Éric Zemmour of having forcibly kissed her. Mediapart has gathered the accounts of several other women who have also condemned the actions and behaviour of the journalist from Le Figaro newspaper and CNews news channel, whom some on the far-right want to be a candidate in next year's presidential election in France. When approached by Mediapart, Zemmour declined to respond to the allegations. Lénaïg Bredoux, David Perrotin and Marine Turchi report.

French lawyer, feminist, rights campaigner Gisèle Halimi dies at 93

France — Link

Born into a modest Jewish family in Tunis, Gisèle Halimi, who has died one day after her 93rd birthday, embarked on a legal career before moving to France, where she first made her name by defending activists from the Algerian nationalist movement before earning national fame as a campaigning lawyer for women's rights, notably in a 1972 trial where she defended a minor who was on trial for having an illegal abortion after a rape.

The opportunist 'feminism' of the French Right

France — Analysis

France’s conservative opposition party Les Républicains is readying itself for primary elections in November to decide who will become its candidate in presidential elections next year. In the debates, and speeches at its annual congress earlier this month, the issue of women’s rights has been placed at the fore. But not in the broad context of gender equality, rather as an argument over the issue of Muslim practices in France and the perceptions of a French ‘identity’. Ellen Salvi analyses the rhetoric, and the hypocrisy, of a new-found feminism among a party that remains firmly sexist.

Carla Bruni backs gay marriage - but not feminism

France — Link

France's former first lady Carla Bruni says she disagrees with husband Nicolas Sarkozy and supports plans to allow gay marriage and adoption.

Arab Spring: how women are using their bodies to create a revolution

International — Analysis

As the ramifications of the Arab Spring continue, a new and extraordinary phenomenon has emerged. Across the Middle East and North Africa women have started putting their body – and images of their bodies - at the heart of the unfolding social revolution there. In some demonstrations a blue bra worn by a beaten protester has become a potent symbol of peaceful female resistance to male oppression. Story by Nadia Aissaoui and Ziad Majed.

French women's rights minister in focus as spotlight shines on gender politics

France — Link

While François Hollande's cabinet contains record number of women, feminist groups complain that few get roles of substance.

French feminists stake their claim in the presidential debate


Earlier this week, a meeting was organised by 45 feminist groups to which candidates in the French presidential elections were invited to explain their plans for advancing the cause of equality for women. For when it comes to equal wages for equal work, fighting sexism and violence against women and promoting contraception, women’s access to positions of power and responsibility, parity in the political arena or on company boards, or the question of Muslim women wearing the veil, the commitments vary across the French political spectrum.Sophie Courval reports.

Feminist groups call for a revolution of 'égalité' in macho French politics

France — Link

While French politics continues to be a man's world, the pressure mounts on presidential candidates to take a clear initiative to introduce parity.