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Marianne Midwest Series

May 22, 2013 | 1 hour 20 mins | University of Chicago


In September 2010, the French Parliament made it illegal to wear face coverings in public areas, with 70 percent of public support. The ban received vigorous applause from the prominent French feminist organization Ni Putes Ni Soumises (Neither Whores Nor Submissive), which considers the burqa a tool of female oppression.

In this talk, Fadela Amara (Ni Putes Ni Soumises founder and former French minister) describes the rise of Islamic fundamentalism in the predominantly poor immigrant neighborhoods surrounding French cities (banlieues) that led to the ban on face coverings. She explains why she considers the wearing of the burqa in public to be both oppressive for women and an assault on the values upon which the French Republic is founded. Furthermore, she discusses the aftermath of the ban in France, the goals that Ni Putes Ni Soumises continues to pursue, its partners at home and abroad, and the impact of the national and international political climate on men and women in the banlieues. Following the talk, Bernard Harcourt moderates a discussion that mixes questions from the Chicago audience with those submitted online by remote audience members in Minneapolis, Milwaukee, and Cincinnati.

This program is made possible with the support of the following UChicago French ClubCenter for International StudiesCenter for the Study of Race, Politics, and CultureUniversity of Chicago Student GovernmentInternational House Global Voices ProgramInternational Students Association, and Chicago Council on Global Affairs and part of Marianne Midwest Series organized by the Cultural Services at the Consulate General of France in ChicagoAlliance Française in Chicago, and France Chicago Center at the University of Chicago.

BROADCASTED LIVE IN 3 MIDWEST CITIES: Alliance Française of Minneapolis, Alliance Française of Milwaukee, and Alliance Française of Cincinnati