Woman & man climbing stairs
1 February 2019

Gender equality, a G7 priority

Since 1 January 2019, France has officially taken over the G7 presidency for one year. The President of the Republic has pledged that doing more against inequality will top the French Presidency's agenda, with precedence primarily being given to gender equality – a national worthy cause of the five-year term.
Returning from her official visit to Montreal (to mark the handover of the G7 Presidency from Canada to France) and then to Washington (the United States are due to host the G7 in 2020), Marlène Schiappa presented the broad outlines and priorities of France's feminist diplomacy on Thursday 31 January.

Engaging in French feminist diplomacy

Actively and firmly engaging in French feminist diplomacy is among the top priorities of the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of State for Gender Equality.

Between now and 2022, France has announced that 50% of public development aid should be set aside for gender policy measures.
In 2019, feminist diplomacy will mainly be carried out within 3 key settings:
  • France's action within the CSW (UN Commission on the Status of Women).
  • France's Chairmanship of the Council of Europe.
  • France's Presidency of the G7.

Gender equality at the G7

A ministerial meeting dedicated to gender equality

On 10 May, France will host a ministerial meeting on the theme of gender equality bringing together all of the G7 ministers for whom this comes under their remit, to move forward together in terms of 3 key priorities:

1 - Economic empowerment of African women: advancing the empowerment of African women, particularly women in the Sahel, by helping them to finance their projects and their ventures. Plans for a financial institute will be looked into for the provision of micro-credit.

2 - Eliminating sexual and gender-based violence with 2 key focuses:
  • Against female genital mutilation/cutting and forced marriage
  • Tackling cyber-bullying via a global challenging of the tech giants Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple as well as social media. Over and above the law and sanctions, educational efforts are also necessary.
3 - Educating women, with two priorities:
  • Advocating for girls to be able to attend school
  • Fostering lifelong learning for women

A bolstered Gender Equality Advisory Council

Canada, which hosted the previous G7 summit, had set up a Gender Equality Advisory Council. The President of the Republic fully intends to uphold this. Under France's Presidency, this council will hold its first meeting in mid-February in Paris and will be made up of eminent global champions of gender equality.

It will be tasked with a twofold remit:
  • Working on a global agenda around 3 priorities.
  • For G7 and like-minded countries, setting out a legislative package and good practices in favour of women. This package will enable each country to commit to putting one or more laws into practice.
In a bid to ensure continuity in terms of the measures conducted in 2019, France has signalled its hope that the United States (which will be hosting the G7 summit in 2020) will be involved in the initial stages of all projects.