New anti-sexual harassment law in France proposes on-spot fines

The legislation needs to get the parliamentary nod. Photograph:( Reuters )

WION Web Team Delhi, India Mar 21, 2018, 04.07 PM (IST)

While government all across the world struggle to come up with more stringent measures to curb incidents of sexual harassment, France seems to have found a one-of-a-kind solution to the problem -- on the spot fining of the culprits. 

According to France's Gender Equality Minister Marlene Schiappa, the fines to be paid on the spot by offenders would range from 90 euros to 750 euros ($110 to $920) and could reach 1,500 euros in case of aggravating circumstances. Repeat offenders may even end up shelling out as much as a whopping 3,000 euros.

President Emmanuel Macron said the bill is meant to ensure "women are not afraid to be outside".

The legislation needs to get the parliamentary nod and will set an age limit under which one will be presumed not to have agreed to have sex with someone aged 18 or above. The age of content, set at 15 years, will facilitate rape prosecutions.

The legislation also proposes an extension to the maximum age until when a rape victim can file a complaint. According to the proposal, a rape victim, ageing 18 years or older, can now lodge a complaint until she turns 48. Previously a victim, ageing 20 years or above, could not file a complaint if ageing above 38 years. 

(With inputs from Reuters)