French Government Gets Anti-Sexism Training

by Erika W. Smith

Najat Vallaud-Belkacem


Maybe the US should take a page out of France’s book.

The French government has recently made what the Global Post calls “a series of sexist blunders” – pretty much everything Dominique Strauss-Kahn has ever done or said, male legislators catcalling the entire time a female government minister spoke in July, and, in October, the agriculture minister’s statement that, “I’ve tried to promote women as much as possible, even though the subjects are very technical.”

The Prime Minister of France, Jean-Marc Ayrault, has decided that his ministers need to go back to school and learn how not to be sexist.

According to the Associated Press, the Equality Ministry has set up a series of “sensitization sessions,” during which ministers are trained to recognize sexism and taught how to avoid it. All 38 ministers are attending, including female ministers.

According to Reuters, the classes were the idea of Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, the new Socialist government’s official spokesperson and head of the newly created Women’s Rights Ministry. Let’s hope the classes work!


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