France has enacted legislation approved earlier this year that will enable significant fines where sexual harassment is committed in the streets and on public transport.
The newly-introduced law on “Sexist Outrage” is defined as “sexual or sexist conduct that is offensive to one’s dignity because of its degrading or humiliating character, or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive situation.”
However, the law fails not specify what kind of behaviour this may be, with some French media outlets speculating that whistling and prolonged stares may fall foul of the law, although the Secretary of State has rejected these claims.
The law is meant to “punish the harassment suffered by millions of women daily, not stares or compliments,” the office of the State Secretary for Equality between Women and Men said.
Fines for perpetrators will vary from €90 to €750.