Woman minister gets wolf whistles in French parliament

July 21st, 2012 - 7:16 pm ICT by IANS  

London, July 21 (IANS) A 37-year-old woman minister, who wore a knee-length floral summery dress and high heels to parliament, faced a barrage of wolf-whistles from male MPs when she stood up to give a speech.

Housing Minister Cecile Duflot also faced yells of “Phwoarr” Friday as she tried to make a speech to the National Assembly in Paris, The Sun reported Saturday.

She began, “Ladies and gentlemen… obviously, more gentlemen than ladies”, but her words were drowned out.

After the howling, the minister said: “I have worked in the building trade and I have never seen anything like that. This tells you something about our MPs. I just think of their wives.”

Duflot was a former town planner who once wore jeans to a cabinet meeting.

Members of the Union for a Popular Movement, the party of former president Nicolas Sarkozy, were widely blamed for the abuse, The Sun said.

A video of the incident caused an outrage, with many people saying it highlighted the shortcomings of the political class.

MP Patrick Balkany, a close friend of Sarkozy, said Duflot put on the knee-length dress “so we wouldn’t listen to what she was saying”.

Women’s Rights Minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem said: “Sexism has no frontiers. We should set a better example.”

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