deputies adopt the bill

By Le Figaro with AFP

Published on 03/28/2024 at 1:53 p.m., Updated on 03/28/2024 at 2:41 p.m.


The text by Guadeloupean MP Olivier Serva, which aims to sanction “hair discrimination”, particularly at work, has given rise to reservations as to its usefulness.

The National Assembly voted on Thursday at first reading a bill aimed at sanctioning the “hair discrimination», especially at work, despite reservations about the usefulness of this initiative. The text of the Guadeloupean deputy Olivier Serva (independent Liot group) was adopted by 44 votes to 2, before being transmitted to the Senate where its future is uncertain. It aims in particular to prevent employers from forcing their employees to straighten their hair to hide their afro cuts, or to hide their braids and dreadlocks.

“In France, discrimination based on physical appearance is already punished in theory”agreed MP Serva. “But from theory to reality there is a gulf”he stressed, pleading for «clarifier» a “misunderstood or misapprehended law”. Olivier Serva mentioned “black women who feel obligated to straighten their hair” before a job interview, “THE red people victims of many negative prejudices”where the «bald men». The government brought a “benevolent gaze” on the text, relying on “wisdom” deputies. He has “the merit of highlighting this type of discrimination”even if the law allows “already struggling” against them, noted the Minister for Gender Equality Aurore Bergé.

“Militant ideology”

“Black woman from the Republic of Guinea”, “I’m here with my braids, my wigs”described Macronist MP Fanta Berete. “When I was applying for certain jobs, I was told that I had to straighten my hair”, she testified. The text is inspired by legislation in force in several states of the United States, notably «Crown Act» enacted in 2019 in California against hair discrimination. The left supported this text. It is a problem “real, serious and political”Who “mainly affects women” and the “racialized people”underlined the Insoumise Danièle Obono, denouncing, like the ecologist Sabrina Sebaihi, a “systemic racism”.

This last term made the right bristle. In the tumult, LR Xavier Breton denounced a “militant ideology”of the “comments which only aim to fracture our society”. He fought the bill, “talkative law”, “a headlong rush” towards a “list of discrimination” at the risk of establishing “a hierarchy”. On the far right, the RN Philippe Schreck called for no “not mock or mock” this bill, but questioned it. “Are we taking care of the daily problems of the French”in a country “almost bankrupt” ? “It would be good to quickly move on to something else”he demanded.

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