As reported by France 24, Islamic migrants in French suburbs in the south are segregating public areas based on sex, shunning women from cafés and public areas. Such segregation was demonstrated in a shocking hidden-camera video of women attempting to attend such public spaces where they are clearly not welcome. One woman tells France 24 that she and other women try to wear black and avoid skirts and red lipstick in attempt to "blend in."
Although some female activists are bravely answering the discrimination by staging frequent marches through the quasi no-females-allowed areas, the issue still remains a huge problem. This is in no small part due to the fear women admit to feeling when they attempt to ignore the pressures and venture to locations they are not allowed.
"Here in France, there's concern over a creeping gender segregation in certain suburbs," reads the caption of the report. "In some cafés, which are frequented only by men, women are simply not welcome. But activists are determined to fight back and make sure everyone can share the public space."
The report opens with two female activists from The Mothers' Brigade wearing a hidden camera entering a café that bars women. When the women enter, they are harassed and told to wait outside. "You see in this cafe, there is no gender mixing," the women are told.
When the women push-back, asserting that this is not "normal," a man suggests that it is indeed "normal" since they are not in Paris.
"We're in Sevran, this is not Paris," he says. "You're not in Paris! It's a different mentality. Here, we do things like in our home countries!"
As the activists speak to reporters following the under-cover experience, a car full of men slows down in front of the women and roll down their window before taking off. A means of intimidation. The women don't feel comfortable and end the interview on the spot.
In a neighboring suburb in France, one woman explains how she "blends in" to appease the misogyny.
"We wear dark clothes, trousers, no skirts, no obvious makeup, red lipstick is out of the question," she says. "We erase ourselves; try to be as discrete as possible."
When asked why, the woman answers: "Because we're scared. It's as simple as that."
France 24's cameras are not welcome in other segregated suburbs.
The report ends by highlighting the women who march in the suburbs in protest of the anti-Western segregation. Their main goal, according to France 24, is to have Muslim women join them, though they have had no such luck as of yet. Some Muslim women, their male relatives by their side, argue on camera that the gender segregation is a good thing.