Issue Deep Dive
France / Gender Equality
Last updated: May 23, 2023
In 2021, France was the seventh 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 17th 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 42%.
34% of France’s spending goes toward projects with a significant, rather than principal gender focus, which receives only 3% of gender-related ODA.
France’s projects in the health and populations, education, and agriculture sectors are most likely to have a gender equality focus.
The Generation Equality Forum in June 2021, co-hosted by France in Paris, mobilized US$40 billion for the 2021-2025 period, with France committing EUR400 million ( US$473 million). In particular, France made €100 million (US$118 million) in new commitments for SRHR pledging an additional:
- EUR90 million ( US$106 million) to UNFPA Supplies;
- EUR5 million ( US$6 million) to the SEMA program;
- EUR5 million ( US$6 million) to the Organization for Safe Abortion Dialogue; and
- EUR250 million ( US$296 million) to SRHR via the AFD over five years.
This funding is complemented by:
- A new commitment of EUR50 million (US$59 million) to the French Muskoka Fund between 2021-2026; and
- EUR333 million ( US$400 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 as part of the Generation Equality Forum pledge in 2021.
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 committed to adopting a ‘feminist diplomacy’. Accordingly, 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.
France’s International Strategy for Gender Equality (2018-2022) is currently being revised. It focuses on five pillars:
- Gender equality within the administration;
- Advocacy for gender equality;
- Integration of gender equality in ODA, including through the OECD markers 4.1 and 4.2;
- Visibility, transparency, and accountability of actions; and
- Links with NGOs, the private sector, and academia.
The new strategy is expected to provide a clear definition of France’s feminist diplomacy.
France adopted its new SRHR Strategy for 2023-2027 in March 2023 following a rights-based approach. The strategy covers six thematic priorities:
- Access to safe abortion;
- Access to quality SRH services and products;
- The fight against sexual and gender-based violence;
- Support for social and behavioral change through comprehensive sexuality education and actions to transform masculinities;
- Equality and access to rights for LGBTQ+ people; and
- The defense of SRHR in conflict /crises affected areas.
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