On the 22nd International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, France reaffirms its commitment and determination to combat and eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls.
2021 has been marked by the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused a spike in violence, especially domestic violence, which the United Nations Secretary-General has described as a “shadow pandemic”. At a time when women’s and girls’ rights are being undermined by the resurgence of conservative attitudes about women’s rights throughout the world, we must fight against this scourge more than ever.
The feminist diplomacy France has implemented since 2019 places gender equality at the heart of our foreign policy. In this framework, France is fully mobilizing to end gender-based violence and sexual violence, as much through its initiatives in international forums as through action on the ground led by its diplomatic network and its operators.
Launched in 2020 at President Macron’s initiative and managed by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, the Support Fund for Feminist Organizations is funding women’s civil society organizations across the world, including those fighting against violence, to the tune of €120 million over three years.
During the French G7 presidency in Biarritz in 2019, France also announced a €6.2 million contribution between 2020 and 2022 to the Global Fund for Survivors of Conflict-Related Sexual Violence, co-founded by Nobel Peace Prize winners Nadia Murad and Dr Denis Mukwege. The fight against conflict-related sexual violence is a priority for France through its third National Action Plan “Women, Peace and Security”, adopted in June 2021.
France also hosted the Generation Equality Forum in Paris from 30 June to 2 July 2021, co-chaired with Mexico and under the aegis of UN Women. More than $40 billion in funding has been released and 1,000 commitments announced in support of a Global Acceleration Plan for Gender Equality, including an Action Coalition dedicated to fighting gender-based violence.
France will continue its efforts, particularly in the framework of its Human Rights Council presidency (2021-2023), to actively promote the rights of women and girls and the fight against gender-based violence. France will pursue even more vigorously its efforts to promote the universal application of the Council of Europe’s Istanbul Convention, which is the most successful international instrument in the fight against violence against women.
The Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs is also committed internally to fighting violence against women and has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to sexual violence and sexist behaviour.