France launches plan to combat violence against women

France launches plan to combat violence against women

French President Emmanuel MacronEmmanuel Jean-Michel MacronUS-China tensions shadow United Nations meeting The US is missing an opportunity in Lebanon Russia's aggression can and should cost Putin dearly MORE on Saturday vowed to crack down on violence against women, laying out a broad set of measures for combatting sexual harassment and assault. 

In a speech commemorating the International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women, Macron outlined proposals including simplifying the system for reporting sexual assault to police and extending the statute of limitations for the rape of minors from 20 years to 30 years, according to Reuters.

He also said that he favored establishing the age of sexual consent at 15. France does not currently set an age of consent.

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“Let’s seal a pact of equality between men and women,” he said, according to Reuters.

Macron also noted that 123 women died in attacks by their partners or former partners in 2016, and held a moment of silence for the victims.

But he also said that France is "not a Puritan society" and cautioned against labeling every interaction between men and women as suspect, The Associated Press reported. 

Among the other proposals outlined by Macron on Saturday was establishing an online system allowing women to instantly contact police and setting up an "on demand" bus that women could call at night to be taken home safely. 

Macron's remarks came as a growing number of powerful men in business, politics, media and beyond face allegations of sexual assault – in many cases spanning years or even decades. 

The allegations have encouraged women in the U.S. and around the world to come forward with their own experiences with sexual assault and harassment.