This happens all the time in French (with pronouns, professions, words such as amis/amies), but wouldn't you say men take priority? If there's only one man among many women, they are still Français, not Françaises. So more importance is placed (grammatically) on the presence of men.
So here we have to say "Frenchwomen" specifically and yet in the next sentence where they say "les prisonnières ont deux sacs" it is okay to just translate it as "the prisoners have 2 bags" and not "the female prisoners....". Likewise "la chienne" is just "the dog". So why the distinction here with "les Francaises"?
Because there is no other translation for Les francaises but Frenchwomen. "The women" is not an accurate translation. "The French" also leaves out the nuance that they are women.
With prisoners or dogs, it is not standard to specify the gender, so while you should not be penalized for specifying it, it is unnecessary.
I don't understand why it is not possibly to say "Frenchwomen (without the article) like wine"? It is a stereotype, perhaps, but in English a perfectly valid sentence. Frenchwomen like wine (and they don't get fat), Germans like beer, teenagers like fries etc. Is this not possible in French?
But wouldn't it be a correct translation of the French sentence? It is not as if Duo is a holy resource that it must only have factual, verified sentences.
Silly comments are inevitable. I forget what non-rice-eating animal ate rice in earlier exercises; so surely you won't take that out of Duo because of a few trolls with nothing better to do than complain, will you? If anything, the more bizarre a sentence is, the less likely for there to be guesswork, but rather it forces actual thinking that tests one's understanding and encourages accuracy in translating.
Anyone who thinks it was meant as a sexist or xenophobic cover has a stick up his/her arse and needs to get a life.
My point was that this would also be the way to make the generalized statement and wanted to make sure this was clear to all and that context is what would determine which sense was meant.
It is important for this ambiguity of phrases like les Françaises to be known because it is not like everyone who speaks French will be careful not to make sweeping statements that may be just generalizations or plain not PC. And it would be handy to be aware of it when it happens.
You do not want to be standing in the presence of some drunk male chauvinist who just made an insulting remark about les femmes (you included), wondering "The women? Which ones does he mean?"