Elected in 2017, President Macron still has a large majority at the National Assembly, but in the public opinion, opposition is growing. As far as ODA is concerned, he has raised very high expectations, especially regarding gender equality. Several high-level financial and political commitments have been made at both national and international levels. Yet this demonstrated political will still needs to be translated into concrete actions and effective funding.
Policies & funding
In 2017, France’s sexual and reproductive health and family planning (SRH/FP) funding disbursement remained stable at €33.6 million. SRH/FP related core funding to UNFPA was €550,000.
Following its Population/SRHR Strategic Paper (2016-2020); France adopted an international strategy for gender equality (2018-2022). In 2019, the five-year Development Law (2014-2019) will be updated according to the priorities set by the “CICID” (inter-ministerial committee) in February 2018.
Regarding funding, the official line of the government remains the same: to dedicate 0.55% of gross national income to ODA. In September 2018, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced an increase of €1 billion for the French development agency from 2019, with €500 million dedicated to five priorities, including health, education and gender equality, of which €100 million euros may be allocated to gender equality and to the promotion of women’s rights. This increase is still pending confirmation in the next Budget Law Proposal.
Francophone West African countries are still the biggest priority for French development policies. The Sahel Alliance is now a pivotal instrument for French aid. It does not include directly SRHR at the moment but is slowly integrating gender equality.
The French government has officially defined its diplomacy as being “feminist”. President Macron stood out on the international stage in favor of women’s rights and gender equality on several occasions. In September 2018, he delivered a strong speech at UNGA in New York, in which he called on governments to make a global priority of women’s rights and gender equality. He announced that the 2019 G7 hosted by France would focus on fighting inequalities and he suggested that part of the summit would be open to partners from developing countries.
For the last five years, France has had a strong voice in international events such as the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) and the UN Commission on Population and Development (CPD), within European Union processes, and has pushed forward SRH/FP issues in the Agenda 2030 framework. With the next G7 and the Global Fund Replenishment conference being hosted in France, the government is expected to keep being vocal on global health issues and gender equality.
- France’s international strategy for gender equality (2018-2022)
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs Health Strategy (2017)
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs Population/SRHR Strategic Paper (2016)
- Development Law (2014)
Updated January 2019
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- European Institutions
- United Kingdom