The Generation Equality Forum, which was held from 30 June to 2 July 2021 in Paris, was a historic moment for the rights of women and girls and gender equality. More than 25 years after the Beijing conference in 1995, France took stock of the commitments made on that occasion. The promises made by France have been kept, with financial support of €400 million, in particular to support sexual and reproductive health and rights and the health of women and girls for the 2021-2025 period, and through the implementation of its national Women, Peace and Security action plan.
To mark this first anniversary, the Minister Delegate for Gender Equality, Diversity and Equal Opportunities, Isabelle Rome, brought together, alongside the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs and Ambassador Delphine O, feminist organizations, the private sector and charitable foundations – all partners of the Forum – to discuss the next steps in relation to the Forum and present the progress made by France in promoting gender equality.
The Generation Equality Forum, co-organized by France and Mexico under the aegis of UN Women, in partnership with civil society and young people, provided an opportunity to implement a feminist foreign policy and multilateralism through actions, advocated by President Macron.
Over $40 billion in new financing was announced and 1,000 pledges made to support a Global Acceleration Plan for Gender Equality. A year after the Forum, this figure has almost tripled: more than 2,700 pledges were made by public and private stakeholders and associations around the world, to help advance gender equality.
France is proud to have kept its international promises, especially through its financial support of €400 million towards sexual and reproductive health and rights and the health of women and girls for the 2021-2025 period, by supporting international organizations, civil society and feminist organizations, and by providing its bilateral assistance.
The first French contribution to the UNFPA Supplies programme to support the purchase and distribution of contraception amounted to €18 million in 2021. France also supported the Shaping Equitable Market Access for Reproductive Health programme, which facilitates equal access to sexual and reproductive health products for a total of €1 million in 2021.
In line with its commitments, France also renewed its contribution to the French Muskoka Fund, amounting to €50 million over the next five years, or €10 million for 2021.
Lastly, in 2021 France disbursed a third of its multi-year commitment of €333 million for the Global Partnership for Education for the 2021-2025 period, 50% of which will be earmarked for girls’ education and gender equality education.
As announced at the Generation Equality Forum, President Macron launched, on International Human Rights Day, 10 December 2021, the Marianne initiative for Human Rights Defenders. This support structure in France is aimed at the women and men threatened for their work defending human rights. The first all-women cohort of the Marianne initiative welcomed rights defenders to Paris from Afghanistan, Myanmar, Belarus, Nicaragua, Colombia, Turkey, Iraq, Syria, Tanzania, Sudan, China and the Palestinian Territories. Lastly, France has launched its third Women, Peace and Security national action plan and joined the Women, Peace and Security and Humanitarian Action Compact.
At a time where, all around the world, we are seeing a rise in conservatism and where the various public health, political, humanitarian and climate crises are undermining the rights of women and girls, the Generation Equality Forum offers a unique and essential space for action and progress in support of gender equality. France continues to take action alongside UN Women to ensure the Generation Equality Forum and its success are preserved, as well as its Global Acceleration Plan for Gender Equality.