On the occasion of the 19th International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to be held on 25 November, France reaffirms its commitment and determination to ensure that the international community combats and eliminates all forms of violence carried out against women.
In 2019, the gender equality which the French President announced as the great cause of the five-year term will be a priority for France’s action during its presidencies of the G7 and the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers. In coordination with its European and international partners, France will launch a campaign aimed at securing the universal adoption of the Council of Europe’s Istanbul Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence.
France remains strongly mobilized on this issue within the United Nations. Along with the Netherlands, was behind the adoption, this week, of the first UN General Assembly resolution aimed at eliminating sexual harassment worldwide. It was also behind the first Group of Friends aimed at eliminating sexual harassment, which already has more than 30 members only two months after it was created.
France reiterates its call for an effort to end impunity for perpetrators of this violence, at a time when 37 countries still exempt rapists from prosecution when they are married to their victims or subsequently marry them.
Violence against women exists in every country and every society at home, at school, in the street, at work and on the Internet: in 2014, between 45 and 55% of women in the European Union were victims of sexual harassment from as young as 15 years of age. Today, this violence constitutes one of the most widespread and entrenched human rights violations in the world: one in three women or girls is a victim of violence during her life, while one in two women killed in 2012 was as a result of violence inflicted by her partner or a member of her family. In France, a woman dies every three days as a consequence of domestic violence.
In times of conflict, women are the first victims of this violence, which, even in peacetime, is too often trivialized and goes unpunished. It is a persistent obstacle to human and economic development, to women’s access to the labour market and, more widely, to reducing women’s inequality with men.
To increase international momentum to eliminate this violence, France supports the UN initiative “Orange the World, #HearMeToo”, which aims to heighten awareness about the issue.