Multiple protests against French minister accused of rape

Women’s rights activists are calling for protests Friday in about 50 cities in France and abroad against President Emmanuel Macron’s appointment of a new interior minister who is accused of rape and a justice minister who has minimized the #MeToo movement.

The actions started Friday morning in Dijon, where new Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin and Prime Minister Jean Castex were meeting with police. A dozen feminists held out banners and signs condemning Darmanin and rape culture.

Feminist group Nous Toutes announced other actions in Paris and other French cities as well as at French embassies or consulates in London, Sydney, Montreal, Berlin, Brussels, Barcelona and Tel Aviv.

Nous Toutes national coordinator Pauline Baron called the appointments “a slap in the face” to victims of sexual violence.

The French government said it remains committed to gender equality and defended the new ministers, stressing the presumption of innocence.

Darmanin firmly denies the rape accusation, and an investigation is underway. New Justice Minister Éric Dupond-Moretti is a lawyer who has defended a government member accused of rape and sexual assault, and has ridiculed women speaking out thanks to the #MeToo movement.

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