100 deaths and counting: France’s femicide problem

At least 100 women have been killed in France so far this year by a partner or ex-partner, according to figures released last week. Campaign groups are demanding the government do more to tackle the growing problem.

Demonstrators in Paris on Sunday held signs aloft bearing the names of all 100 women who have been murdered so far this year. It was the second protest against femicide – the murder of women usually by a partner or family member – in as many months in the French capital.

At the current rate, France is on course to record around 150 femicides for the year, compared to 121 in 2018, while figures show the country has a higher rate of femicides than many of its western European neighbours, including the UK, Netherlands, Italy and Spain.

The government on Tuesday is due to launch a national consultation on the issue, which will bring together ministers, administrators and associations of families and victims to try to find a solution.

But campaigners say much more is needed to be done, including vastly increasing funding to tackle domestic violence and provide shelter for abused women.

“Getting around a table to discuss these topics, we're not convinced that that's really the priority because we know what needs to be done,” said protester Sophie Barre at Sunday’s rally.

“The question is to allocate the resources to do it and we're asking for a billion euros. A few days ago, [equality minister] Marlène Schiappa announced the allocation of one million euros. One million euros for a country like France is a paltry sum."