First-time director and French journalist Caroline Fourest said, "Westerners were amazed to find Kurdish women fighting the Russians alongside with the Ottoman empire. And so they called them the Kurdish Amazon."
Where women's equality is concerned, France presents a mixed picture: Studies suggest it has the highest percentage of women in the workforce in Europe. Yet the gender pay gap persists: French women earned 15.2% less on average than French men in 2016. Overall, many women in France feel the #MeToo movement has fallen short of what they hoped for.
One effort to counter the recent rise in hate brought about 150 French women together from different religious, ethnic and economic backgrounds to go to a notorious symbol of terror and genocide from that war: Auschwitz. Together they wanted to learn more about the Holocaust, in the hopes of bringing a message of greater understanding back to France.
"We consider it a sporting adventure but also an activist and human adventure. We're trying to get our message out about the need for a women's tour, so we ride together. We have to be in shape because it's very difficult. But we also have to be engaged activists."
In the wake of the #MeToo hashtag that followed news of Harvey Weinstein's sexual abuse, French women came up with a hashtag of their own — one that points at aggressors, not victims. #BalanceTonPorc or "out your pig" has exploded and shows no signs of abating.