Wolf whistling men in France will be fined under new law

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A new law would punish men who display lecherous or aggressive behaviour in public including leering, repeatedly asking for a woman's phone number or speaking while too close to a woman's face.

The Weinstein scandal has rekindled the debate about sexual harassment and encouraged women around the world to share their experiences of being abused and preyed on by men on social media with the hashtag 'MeToo.'

Schiappa told RTL radio that the move is necessary as harassment in the street is not now covered by the law.

Emmanuel Macron, the president, said he wanted to tackle sexist male attitudes in public spaces and would send new contingents of community police to enforce the new law.

Another trending hashtag in France, #balancetonporc, is encouraging women to report harassment in the workplace. "At the moment, one can't file a lawsuit for street harassment".

Asked about the difficulty of drawing a line between harassment and flirtation, Schiappa said: "We know very well at what point we start feeling intimidated, unsafe or harassed in the street".

Schiappa is also calling for the statute of limitations to be changed from 20 years to 30 years for victims who have turned 18 in cases where they were allegedly raped as minors.

A group of five MPs have been tasked with legally defining so-called street harassment and deciding on suitable punishments after a national survey showed nearly all French women asked had been harassed on public transport or in the street. Hamilton denied the claims and committed suicide in the wake of the revelations. It will also aim to create an assumption of non-consent for minors, following a recent case in which a judge found an 11-year-old girl had consented to sex with a 28-year-old man.

Macron said on Sunday that he wanted to revoke Weinstein's Legion of Honour award after the wave of accusations of sexual abuse against the Hollywood mogul.

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