French action for sexual, reproductive, maternal, child and adolescent health rights

France is exerting its influence in multilateral and regional forums and in bilateral discussions in order to reduce the failings and inequality regarding sexual, reproductive, maternal, child and adolescent health rights.

Every hour, 625 children die, mostly from avoidable or treatable causes. Every day, 830 women die due to pregnancy- or childbirth-related complications. Over 12 million girls aged 15 to 19 give birth to a child each year. Almost 220 million women who want to restrict, space out or reduce their number of pregnancies are deprived of modern contraception methods due to lack of information, product unavailability or financial access to healthcare.

France advocates implementing an integrated approach which would address both unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases and would ensure safe childbirth as well as voluntary termination of pregnancy in safe conditions.

As part of the G8 Muskoka Initiative, France increased its contribution to sexual, reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health (SRMNCAH) by €518 million between 2011 and 2018. This contribution was implemented via the French Development Agency and the French Muskoka Fund.

The French Muskoka Fund

Since 2011, France has paid €110 million to the French Muskoka Fund. During 2018, it has been working in eight countries: Benin, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo. Set up by the WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA and UN Women, its goal is to reduce mortality rates among mothers, infants, children and adolescents. Its main work focuses on the sexual and reproductive health of adolescents, mother and child health, and strengthening health systems.

It supports raising awareness of best practices regarding sexual, reproductive, maternal, child and adolescent health through community activities and mass campaigns such as the C’est la Vie TV series.

“C’est la Vie”: a French-backed campaign

Since 2012, France has been supporting the production of the TV series “C’est la vie” as well as a broad cross-media campaign via the French Muskoka Fund.

This series, which broke new ground in French-speaking Africa, aims to use fiction to raise awareness among the population and in particular among teens and young people about best practices with regard to sexual, reproductive, maternal and child health, to condemn gender-based violence and to promote the empowerment of women and their fundamental right to healthcare and education.

The entire African subcontinent took an interest in the series, season one of which has been broadcast since June 2016 across 39 national TV channels in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Season two, which features 36 episodes, has been screened since October 2017 on the pan-African TV channel A+, and on TV5 Monde since March 2018. It will be shown on African national channels in 2019.

The Ouagadougou Partnership: under this partnership, France supports coordination between donors to speed up progress with regard to the prevalence of contraception in nine French-speaking African countries (Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal and Togo) which have undertaken to introduce modern contraceptive methods to 2.2 million more people by 2020.

Updated: 30 November 2018