Podcast: Fixing France, opposing immigration reforms, Françoise Giroud

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A critique that highlights the gap between France and its ideals. Protests to try and block the new "racist" immigration reforms. And the story of Françoise Giroud, journalist-turned-minister in the 1970s.  France is a country of impossible ideals, built on the myth of a Revolution fought to secure Liberté, Égalité and Fraternité, but the reality is that not everyone benefits. This is journalist Nabila Ramdani's take in her new book, Fixing France, which dissects what she sees as France’s failures, both historical and recent, and reflects on how to fix them. Ramdani is well-placed to write about the subject – having run into barriers to working in journalism or publishing in France because of her North African background, she went on to live, work and flourish in the US and the UK, and wrote the book in English. (Listen @3'30'')The government's hardline immigration reform was passed on 19 December thanks to the backing of the conservative right Republicans and far right National Rally, both of which added on provisions that differentiate between the rights of the French and non-EU foreigners living or moving here. Ahead of a court decision on whether the reform respects the French constitution, migrants, left-wing politicians, unions and activists have taken to the streets to denounce what they deem is a "racist" law, unworthy of the French republic. (Listen @19'55'')Françoise Giroud, who died on 19 January 2003, was a "grande dame" of French journalism, having co-founded L'Express and edited the weekly magazine for over 20 years. As feminism gathered momentum in the 1970s, she joined the government as "secretary of state for the feminine condition" – the first cabinet position dedicated to women's affairs. (Listen @13'45'')Episode mixed by Cecile Pompeani.Spotlight on France is a podcast from Radio France International. Find us on rfienglish.com, Apple podcasts (link here), Spotify (link here) or your favourite podcast app (pod.link/1573769878).
18 Jan English France News

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