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France could fine men for making sexist comments

France could introduce fines as punishment for men who are caught making sexist and lewd remarks towards women while out and about.

Three ministers will be presented with a report this week recommending a €90 (£80) charge for those guilty of causing “sexual outrage”.

Among the punishable offences are following or stalking women in the street, blocking their path, and making loud and inappropriate comments about their appearance and physique. They all constitute behaviour that “undermines self-esteem and the right to security”.

Local media reports suggest that the fine will be set at €90 for those who pay immediately, but it would increase to €175 (£150) if only paid within 15 days and go as high as €375 (£328) if the payment is made even later.

The goal is to battle the problem of so-called “everyday sexism” on the streets of France.

Equality secretary Marlene Schiappa, justice minister Nicole Belloubet and interior minister Gerard Collomb will receive the report, and if they approve it will be presented to parliament.

Ms Schiappa has already shown support for the proposals. The 35-year-old is a feminist and was an early supporter of President Emmanuel Macron.

If the proposals do become law, it will follow some already announced measures to tackle harassment in public places.

In Paris, certain nighttime buses will now allow passengers to hop off even when the vehicle is not at a designated stop.

The measure was introduced after the country’s High Council for Equality between Women and Men conducted a survey in which 100% of women said they had been harassed on public transport at least once.

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