France’s Macron Vows to Change ‘Society Sick With Sexism’

French President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday announced wide-ranging measures to fight sexism and stop “horrific and shameful” violence against women. In a speech marking the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, Macron opened with a minute of silence for the 123 women killed in France last year by their partner or ex-partner. “Our entire society is sick with sexism,” he said from the Elysee Palace. “France must no longer be one of those countries where women are afraid,” he said. The 39-year-old leader outlined three priorities to “seal a pact of equality between men and women,” calling for stronger assistance to sexual assault victims, harsher measures against attackers, and better education on gender equality. Among other plans, he said a 2018 draft law could include measures to criminalize street harassment, extend the statute of limitation for the rape of minors to 30 years from 20 years, and set the age of consent at 15. Currently, France has no minimum age of consent.