PARIS - Activists on Monday criticized as insufficient new French government efforts to fight one of Europe’s highest rates of so-called femicides, or the killing of women by their partners.
French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe on Monday announced millions of dollars in measures to protect women from spousal killings. They include beefing up shelters and the national hotline for victims, electronic bracelets and firearms seizures targeting abusers, educational programs and stiffer penalties for those convicted. The announcement coincides with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.
Philippe said he hoped the measures will create an "electric shock" that he says French society needs to fight so-called femicides. Activists say nearly 140 women have been killed by their partners or ex-partners in France so far this year — one of Europe’s highest rates.
Tens of thousands of people demonstrated in Paris Saturday, in the latest protest against femicides. The new measures come after weeks of discussions between authorities and women’s rights groups on the problem.
But, some activists say both the measures and the funds to realize them are not enough. Camille Bernard is a member of #NousToutes, a women’s rights group which organized the demonstrations.
"We are really disappointed about this, because we must have more money to make things [i.e. measures to crack down] for the violence, and the prime minister says it will not be more [new] money. We don’t know how they think they will do more things against violence without more money,” he said.
Domestic violence has also become a hot-button issue elsewhere in Europe. A day after the Paris demonstrations, thousands protested violence targeting women in Brussels. Similar demonstrations also took place recently in Spain, despite a raft of government measures more than a decade ago to address the problem.