The 22-year-old woman, identified only as Elisabeth, said she was assaulted in broad daylight in the city of Strasbourg as she walked home.
She said France Alsace blue radio that as she walked one of the three men said, “Look at that bitch in a skirt. “
Two of the three men held her while the third punched her in the face, leaving her with one black eye before running away. There were more than a dozen witnesses to the attack, but no one intervened, she said.
French ministers condemned the “very serious” incident as unacceptable.
Gabriel Attal, government spokesperson, said: “In France, you have to be able to go out in the street dressed as you want. We cannot accept that today in France, a woman feels in danger, either harassed, threatened or beaten because of the way she dresses.
Young Interior Minister Marlence Schiappa, who was previously State Secretary for Gender Equality and is now in charge of citizenship, traveled to Strasbourg on Wednesday to discuss women’s safety in public.
Mrs. Schiappa said France Blue Alsace: “A woman is never hit because she is wearing a skirt. A woman is hit because there are people who are misogynistic, sexist, violent and who break free from any law or any rule of civility by beating them.
“When you’re a student and you have to think about what outfit to wear and what message it sends, it’s an overwhelming mental load.
She urged people to call the police if they witness “street harassment, gender-based or sexual assault against women” in public.
The minister announced the recruitment of 80 social workers who will be assigned to police stations and gendarmerie brigades to help victims of street harassment and gender and sexual violence.
The incident comes after an 18-year-old man was given a two-month suspended prison sentence after assaulting two women who were waiting for a tram in Mulhouse.
The man claimed that one of the women’s outfits was too short and pushed her to the ground. He was detained on Wednesday and sentenced the next day under a special accelerated procedure authorized by French law.