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Patriarchal attitudes still a problem in France

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Elisabeth Moreno, France’s minister delegate for gender equality, diversity and equal opportunities delivers a speech with victims of domestic violence and relatives testifying, at the Interior Ministry at Place Beauvau in Paris, on September 6, 2021.

Thomas Samson | AFP | Getty Images

Elisabeth Moreno, France’s minister for gender equality, diversity and equal opportunities, told CNBC Friday that the country still has a problem with “patriarchal attitudes.”

Moreno, who was speaking to CNBC’s Karen Tso at the Women’s Forum in Paris on Friday, said that French President Emmanuel Macron had made gender equality the “great cause of his term.”

She said that there had been particular focus on violence against women. For instance, last year the French Parliament approved a bill giving more power to doctors to help protect victims of domestic violence. However, France reportedly still has one of the highest rates of femicide in Europe.

Moreno said the French government was also focusing on improving gender equality in the workplace. In May, the French Parliament voted unanimously to introduce gender quotas at an executive level.

Nevertheless, Moreno said that France still suffered from “a lot of stereotypes, a lot of patriarchal attitudes.”

According to Eurostat, women in France were paid 16.5% less than men a year on average in 2019, which was above the 14.1% average gender pay gap for the European Union.

“If we really want to accelerate this movement, we need to force these dynamics through laws and that’s exactly what we are doing,” she said.

Moreno argued that progress had been made, however, pointing out that women now made up 38% of France’s National Assembly, which is the lower house of parliament.

Even so, Moreno said there was still more to be done, as France had suffered “decades and decades of patriarchal domination, masculine domination and you cannot change these things in two or three years.”

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