France – Feminist Foreign Policy

“Feminist foreign policy”, Op-Ed by Jean-Yves Le Drian and Marlène Schiappa

Mar 8, 2019 – France aims to support the empowerment of women around the world through combatting sexual and gender-based violence, fighting for occupational equality and fighting for the education of girls.

During the past year, France has been the driver of a new initiative: a genuine feminist foreign policy. A feminist foreign policy that forgot no subject. A foreign policy to combat sexual and sexist violence. A foreign policy to promote the education of girls and women, boys and men, throughout the world. A foreign policy to foster women’s economic empowerment worldwide, and particularly in Africa. A tangible foreign policy, not limited to mere words, which is truly active and produces real effects to support women, all women.

How is France working to further this feminist foreign policy? By deploying the resources necessary. The French President created a grants budget in order to give international reach to the great cause of his term: gender equality. This budget, €120 million, will be managed starting in 2019 by the French Development Agency (AFD), with the key goal of supporting feminist movements and NGOs, particularly in developing countries, to fight for the equality, rights and dignity of girls and women everywhere.

In 2018, more than half of the projects financed worldwide by the AFD included a component focused on gender equality, showing France’s strong commitment to this issue. Now we need to do even more, in line with the United Nations 2030 Agenda. This is why the Government has tasked the AFD with reaching, by 2022, a total of €700 million annually in funding aimed primarily at reducing gender inequality. In 2018, France was voted champion of the “She Decides” Initiative for the sexual and reproductive health and rights of women and girls.

Combatting human trafficking and sexual exploitation – Joint Op-Ed by Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and his Swedish counterpart Margot Wallström (8 March 2019)

This joint article presents the common strategy in the fight against human trafficking and sexual exploitation in Europe and in the world.
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High Council for Gender Equality (HCE)

Report on feminist diplomacy by the High Council on Gender Equality (18 November 2020)

The High Council on Gender Equality has presented its report on feminist diplomacy to Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, and Elisabeth Moreno, Minister Delegate for Gender Equality, Diversity and Equal Opportunities, attached to the Prime Minister.

Embassy of France in the United States

Submission of the High Council for Gender Equality’s report on feminist diplomacy to ministers Moreno and Le Drian

Communiqué from the Government (November 18, 2020)

Since the launch of this strategy and as part of the feminist diplomacy promoted by France, substantial progress has been made. Our financial commitments to equality are being significantly stepped up:

  • 97 million euros has been devoted to sexual and reproductive rights and health, a French priority of the Generation Equality Forum in 2019;
  • 320 million euros was used to fund projects dedicated to fighting gender inequalities in the Southern countries, through the French Development Agency in 2020;
  • France’s contribution to UN Women rose from 1.7 million euros in 2018 to 3.05 million euros in 2020, making France one of the 20 largest donors;
  • In 2019 France also launched the Support Fund for Feminist Organizations, which will devote 120 million euros over three years to feminist organizations in countries receiving Official Development Assistance.

Finally, on the gender parity front, the number of French women ambassadors has doubled in five years and the objective of having women make up 50% of first-time ambassadorial appointments should be achieved. Progress is also being made on training staff and raising their awareness about sexist behavior, and as part of its plan to raise awareness the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs has set itself the aim of having 7,000 trained staff, i.e. 60% of staff posted abroad.