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French ministers attend anti-sexism classes

After a series of sexist blunders by French politicians in recent months, the Socialist government has organized anti-sexism classes.

Francois hollande gender equalityEnlarge
France's President Francois Hollande has made equal gender representation in the French government a priority. (BERTRAND LANGLOIS/AFP/Getty Images)

After a series of sexist blunders by French politicians in recent months, the Socialist government has asked its cabinet ministers to attend anti-sexism classes organized by its Equality Ministry, the Associated Press reported. According to the AP, all 38 ministers, including female ministers, have either taken or signed up for the classes.

The hour-long classes cover stereotyping, offensive language, wage inequality, domestic violence and avoiding mistakes, Reuters reported.

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A recent gaffe that prompted the courses include male legislators whistling and catcalling the entire time French Housing Minister Cecile Duflot spoke at France's National Assembly in July, the AP reported. The lawmakers later said they were merely showing their appreciation for her blue and white flowered summer dress.

Reuters reported that Agriculture Minister Stephane Le Foll also showed he needed some remedial courses in equality after remarking to French magazine L'Express this month, “I've tried to promote women as much as possible, even though the subjects are very technical.”

According to the AP:

French President Francois Hollande - whose partner is one of the only working French first ladies in recent times - has made equal gender representation in government a key part of his election manifesto.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/france/121030/french-ministers-attend-anti-sexism-classes