The mayor of Paris, France is considering banning an “Afro-feminist” festival over its attempt to block any white men from participating.
Anne Hidalgo, a member of French Socialist Party and the mayor of Paris, has threatened the festival organizers, Mwasi feminist association, with a lawsuit over discrimination.
The feminist association is planning to hold the inaugural Nyansapo Fest in July, The Times reported.
The Mayor has spoken out after the group announced that 80 percent of the event, aiming to build “Afro-feminist strategies to end racial, patriarchal, colonial and capitalist violence”, will be reserved for black women only.
Other events during the festival will also have restrictions based on gender and color. A discussion on “Afr0-struggles” would be open only to black people of both sexes, while an event on “decolonial feminism” would be open to women of all ethnic origins.
Only one event will be open to everyone.
Hidalgo said she would make a formal request to the Paris police to ban the festival, adding: “I reserve the right to sue the initiators of this festival for discrimination.”
A couple of anti-racism organizations in France have also criticized the festival.
SOS Racisme, a leading anti-racism group in the country, called the festival “an abomination” and claimed it “wallows in ethnic separation,” the BBC reported.
Meanwhile, Licra, the International League against Racism and Antisemitism, said: “Rosa Parks would be turning in her grave.”
The group organizing the event slammed the critics, saying they had been “the target of a campaign of disinformation and fake news orchestrated by the extreme right” and they were “saddened to see some anti-racist associations let themselves be manipulated”.
It added that many had “no problem” with women-only feminist groups when it doesn’t block for attending based on race.