As many as 40% of the class was reportedly absent in some cases. French women’s rights minister Ms Najat Vallaud-Belkacem had to come out to quell the rumours.
She clarified that the idea was to sensitise children. Belkacem, who is of Moroccan immigrant origin, has been in the news for major pro-women’s rights reforms.
On Tuesday, the French National Assembly passed the “real equality between men and women” bill (359 votes for and 24 against). A second reading of the bill is due in spring.
The new law will let women seek abortion during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy without having to justify it. It provides incentives to fathers to take longer leave from professional activity to look after newborns.