Sarkozy promotes softer position on burka, niqab in France




Whether the hard right in Parliament will go along with the softer approach is hard to say but at least Sarkozy is trying to make a point without going too far. That said, while it’s good to see Sarkozy support equality for women, the facts on the ground say otherwise. Women in France are underpaid compared to men and are far less represented in senior management than other developed countries. Now may be a good time to start getting serious with turning that around.

Last night Sarkozy, who has been accused of unleashing a storm of hostile sentiment towards France’s six million Muslims through a “great debate” on national identity, endeavoured to reassure his critics that his dislike of the burka was motivated by love of his nation’s principles rather than racism.

“The full veil is not welcome in France because it runs contrary to our values and contrary to the idea we have of a woman’s dignity,” he said, while cautioning against an extreme move that would further alienate a section of society.

“Let us undertake not to give opponents of democracy, dignity and sexual equality the chance for a victory which would put our society in a very difficult situation,” he said, adding it was “essential that no one felt stigmatised”.


An American in Paris, France. BA in History & Political Science from Ohio State. Provided consulting services to US software startups, launching new business overseas that have both IPO’d and sold to well-known global software companies. Currently launching a new cloud-based startup. Full bio here.

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