Issue Deep Dive: France/Gender Equality

Last updated: December 20, 2022

ODA Spending

ODA in Context

In 2020, France was the 6th largest DAC supporter of projects related to gender equality. Despite the strategic emphasis on gender equality, France’s prioritization of gender within its broader development program ranks 20th out of all DAC donors.

France’s gender equality-related spending has increased substantially in recent years, and may continue to approach the DAC average of 45%.

The majority of France’s spending goes toward projects with a significant, rather than principal gender focus.

ODA Breakdown

Bilateral Spending

France’s projects in the social services, education, and agriculture sectors are most likely to have a gender equality focus.

Mutlilateral spending and commitments

The Generation Equality Forum (GEF) in June 2021, co-hosted by France in Paris, mobilized US$40 billion for the 2021-2025 period, with France committing €400 million (US$456 million). In particular, France made €100 million (US$114 million) in new commitments for women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) pledging an additional:

  • €90 million (US$102 million) to UNFPA Supplies,
  • €5 million (US$6 million) to the Shaping Equitable Market Access for Reproductive Health (SEMA) program,
  • €5 million (US$6 million) to the Organization for Safe Abortion Dialogue,
  • intention to channel €250 million (US$285 million) to SRHR via the AFD over five years.

This funding is complemented by:

  • A new commitment of €50 million (US$57 million) to the French Muskoka Fund between 2021-2026, and
  • €333 million (US$379 million) to GPE for the next five years, half of which is earmarked for the promotion of girls’ education.

France also doubled its contribution to UN Women.

Funding & Policy Outlook

Gender equality is a key objective of French President Emmanuel Macron’s term, according to the 2021 development law and CICID conclusions. As host of the 2019 G7 Summit, France had first committed to adopting a ‘feminist diplomacy’. The 2021 development law establishes gender equality as a cross-cutting objective of French development policy overall, stipulating that by 2025, 75% of programs financed by French ODA should include gender equality as either a principal or significant objective, and at least 20% as a principal objective.

In 2018, France adopted its third international strategy on gender equality for 2018-2022. The strategy focuses on five areas to mainstream gender equality in the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs’ work, including development cooperation and economic, soft, cultural, and academic diplomacy.

Key bodies

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