France Passes New Law Ensuring Equality for Women

Living up to their motto: liberté, égalité, fraternité.

Vive la France, because the European country just passed a new law that will move the French forward in terms of gender equality. The law, which has been debated since January of this year, was originally proposed by Najat Vallaud Belkacem, the minister for women's rights.

The law is multi-faceted, covering every inch of gender equality from the workplace to domestic issues, but one of the biggest changes is greater access to abortions. Since 1975, when abortion was legalized in the country, women had to prove 'distress' in order to receive an abortion. Now, all women have to prove is that they want to end their pregnancy, and the government will fund the procedure.

The abortion-related provisions may be the most controversial aspects of France's new law, but the new legislation touches several other aspects of women's rights. The law will continue to enforce equality in the workplace, particularly by encouraging paternal leave in the hopes that childcare and household duties will be more evenly split. It will aid the nation's poverty-stricken women, as well as provide support for women suffering from domestic abuse. The law doesn't stop at just helping individual women throughout France, but will work to improve the portrayal of women in the media but tackling negative stereotypes.

Once the law is adopted, its forthcoming changes could be taking place as soon as early in 2015

Diana Pearl

I'm an Associate Editor at the Business of Fashion, where I edit and write stories about the fashion and beauty industries. Previously, I was the brand editor at Adweek, where I was the lead editor for Adweek's brand and retail coverage. Before my switch to business journalism, I was a writer/reporter at, where I wrote news posts, galleries and articles for PEOPLE magazine's website. My work has been published on,,,, and in Every Day with Rachael Ray. It has been syndicated by,, and, among other publications. Previously, I've worked at,, and