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French minister defends appearance on Playboy magazine’s front cover

"In France, women are free," said French minister Marlène Schiappa, defending her decision to give an interview to Playboy France magazine

French minister Marlène Schiappa has defended her decision to appear on Playboy magazine Pic: Obatala-photography / Shutterstock

French government minister Marlène Schiappa has sparked controversy after it emerged she will appear - fully clothed - on the front cover of Playboy France magazine.

The announcement caused a furore, forcing Ms Schiappa to defend her decision on Twitter. 

“Defending women’s rights to decide what happens to their bodies is a constant battle. In France, women are free. Despite what regressives and hypocrites think,” wrote Schiappa, government minister for the Social and Solidarity Economy and Associative Life.

A member of her entourage told the Huffington Post that the interview with the magazine focuses “mainly on women’s freedom, but also feminism, politics and literature”.

Ms Schiappa also spoke in the interview, which took place several weeks ago, about women’s freedom in Afghanistan as well as France's defence of abortion and LGBT+ rights.

She will be the first female politician to appear on Playboy’s front page.

However, Ms Schiappa has been criticised by other French politicians, including MEP Manon Aubry and Jean-Luc Mélenchon.

Both politicians also referenced the interview French President Emmanuel Macron gave to the children’s magazine Pif Gadget.

“In a country where the President talks to Pif and his minister Schiappa Playboy, the problem would be the opposition. France has gone off the rails,” said Mr Melenchon.

Ms Aubry said: “This Playboy front page is ridiculous 1) for feminism (media which conveys sexist cliches) & 2) for competing with Pif Gadget as a distraction operation.”

She added: “But strangely nothing from Macron supporters on the misappropriation of the Marianne funds managed by Schiappa…”.

The Marianne funds were set up by Ms Schiappa, then citizenship minister after school teacher Samuel Paty was murdered for showing cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in class.

Read More: 12 million French students remember teacher Samuel Paty

The funds were to be used to counter radical Islam online, however, the way the funds have been allocated and their use by various associations has been questioned and the government’s inspectorate general is now investigating. 

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Abad leaves, Schiappa returns… meet France’s reshuffled new ministers

French President: ‘Immediate action’ on Islamic terrorism

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