Feminist foreign policy – International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (25 November 2022)


Today, November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Catherine Colonna addressed the opening session of an event hosted by the Ministry that is bringing together civil society representatives, experts and prominent figures involved on this issue.

On this occasion, the Minister reiterated France’s unwavering efforts to end all forms of gender-based violence worldwide, whether it be domestic violence or conflict-related sexual violence, and to combat the range of abuses that exist more generally. She also emphasized our staunch commitment to end impunity for perpetrators. This government has conducted numerous awareness-raising activities under the auspices of Isabelle Rome, Minister of State for Gender Equality, Diversity and Equal Opportunities, attached to the Prime Minister.

France is conducting an ambitious international advocacy campaign on the issue of violence against women, particularly through its support for the universalization of the Istanbul Convention, its political backing for the Generation Equality Forum, and its resolute action at the UN Security Council to promote the Women, Peace and Security Agenda.

At the Generation Equality Forum held in Paris, which France co-chaired with Mexico in 2021 under the auspices of UN Women, an Action Coalition on Gender-Based Violence was established. In keeping with a pledge made by President Macron, the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs and the French Development Agency (AFD) launched a Support Fund for Feminist Organizations to allocate some €120 million over three years (2020-2022) to feminist organizations involved on these issues. We also contributed €8.2 million to the Global Fund for Survivors of Conflict-Related Sexual Violence – The Global Survivors Fund (GSF) co-founded by Nobel Prize laureates Nadia Murad and Dr. Denis Mukwege, to be allocated over a three-year period (2020-2022). During her meeting with Ms. Murad on November 11, the minister announced a new project funded by France to meet the needs of the victims of sexual violence committed during the Russian invasion of Ukraine. France protects human rights defenders, particularly through its Marianne Initiative, whose exclusively female staff assumed their functions on March 8 at a ceremony at the Elysée.

France will continue to promote a “zero tolerance” policy for violence against women. The Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs will continue to implement the feminist foreign policy launched in 2019 to promote the rights of women and girls and to resolutely combat all forms of gender-based violence. The fight against these forms of violence is a matter of human rights, social justice and gender equality and it is an essential prerequisite for lasting peace in all our societies. France is pleased that Moldova, the United Kingdom and Ukraine joined the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence, known as the Istanbul Convention, in 2022, and we will continue to mobilize our efforts to achieve its universal ratification.