France: Female ministers decry sexual harassment
May 15, Paris: More than a dozen women who have served as ministers in France say they will no longer be silent about sexual harassment in politics.
All 17 signatories to the declaration are current or former ministers. Among them is Christine Lagarde, the head of the International Monetary Fund and France's former finance minister.
On Monday, the deputy speaker of the National Assembly, Denis Baupin, resigned over sexual harassment claims, which he denies.
"Like all women who have entered spheres that up until then were exclusively male, we have had to fight against sexism," the declaration, in the Journal de Dimanche newspaper, said.
"It is not for women to have to adapt to these places, but for the behaviour of certain men to change."
Examples of some of the sexual harassment suffered by the women are also given in the article, reports said.
It explains that Fleur Pellerin, who was culture minister in Francois Hollande's government from 2014 until this February this year, rarely suffered harassment until she was appointed to office.
After her first appointment in government, she was asked by a male journalist if she was given the job "because you are a beautiful woman".
Another signatory, former Women's Rights Minister Yvette Roudy, told French news channel La Chaine Info on Sunday that they feel entitled to have a laugh and to make unwelcome gestures such as patting a woman on the buttocks.
The Oslo Times