UN – International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (25 Nov. 2019)

On this 20th International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, France reaffirms its commitment to eliminate all forms of violence directed against women.

Today, such violence represents one of the most widespread forms of human rights violations in the world: an estimated 137 women are killed each day, nearly one-third of them by a husband or ex-husband. In France, 130 women were killed in 2018, or about one every three days.

In times of conflict, women and girls are the leading victims of such violence, often used as a weapon of war. It is a persistent obstacle to human and economic development, to women’s access to the job market, and more broadly, to the reduction of inequality between men and women.

Gender equality is one of the priorities of President Macron’s term, as reflected by France’s work in 2019 during its G7 presidency and its presidency of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe:

  • Working with its European and international partners, France has for the past year been conducting a campaign to make the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence, also known as the Istanbul Convention, universal.
  • At the G7 summit in Biarritz, President Macron announced €6.2 million in financial support for the Global Survivors Fund launched by 2018 Nobel Prize laureates Nadia Murad and Dr. Denis Mukwege;
  • To support women who work with the victims of this scourge, the first Simone Veil Prize was awarded this year to Aissa Doumara, a Cameroonian activist whose work has helped survivors of such violence return to ordinary life.

France also remains strongly committed to this issue at the United Nations:

  • Together with the Netherlands, it spearheaded the adoption of the first UN General Assembly resolution to eliminate sexual harassment worldwide;
  • It also initiated the first Group of Friends working to eliminate sexual harassment, which already has more than 30 members just two months after its establishment.

And in 2020, France will continue its commitment to combat all forms of violence against women:

  • On the 25th anniversary of the UN’s Fourth World Conference on Women, held in Beijing in 1995, France will host the Generation Equality Forum in Paris from July 7-10 at the initiative of UN Women and in partnership with Mexico. This forum will bring together representatives of governments, international organizations, civil society and the private sector in coalitions designed to give new momentum to women’s rights and gender equality worldwide.

France reiterates its call for mobilization to end impunity for the perpetrators of such violence and calls on all nations that have not yet done so to ratify and implement without reservation the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.