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Ministers ‘never to remain silent again’ on sexual harassment

Women demonstrate in front of the National Assembly in Paris last week. AFP

Ministers ‘never to remain silent again’ on sexual harassment

Seventeen former French cabinet ministers say they will never “remain silent again” about aggressive sexual behaviour by male colleagues.

The 17 women come from all sides of the political spectrum and notably include Christine Lagarde, France’s former finance minister and the current head of the International Monetary Fund.

The women presented the open letter, published in the weekly Journal du Dimanche on Sunday, just days after the deputy speaker of France’s lower house of parliament, Denis Baupin, resigned over sexual harassment claims

“It’s an exceptional opportunity for women in politics, but also in business and civil society, wherever women can be subjected to unwelcome advances… to say stop, enough, we can’t take it anymore,” France’s minister for women’s rights Laurence Rossignol said.

It comes as the French Parliament prepares legislation to make it easier for women to file legal complaints for up to six years in cases of sexual harassment, compared with three years currently.

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