France’s current National Action Plan on WPS has the implementation period 2021 to 2025. It is preceded by two others. France structured its third nap around the thematic pillars of prevention, protection (including the fight against impunity), participation and promotion of the agenda. It states that the NAP is aligned with its international strategy for gender equality (2018-2022), the EU’s Women, Peace and Security regional action plan for 2019-2024, and the European Union gender action plan (GAP III). France’s commitment to implementing the women, peace and security agenda is aligned with its feminist diplomacy policy, which concerns its external actions and is based on France’s international strategy on gender equality.
France does not have a history of recent armed conflict, but contributes to overseas military operations and peacekeeping missions as well as having been involved in interventions in insurgencies and conflicts in the Central African Republic, the Maghreb, and Mali. In 2019, France was among the top 10 military spenders as well as being among top 5 arms exporters in the world. France is also a contributor to humanitarian aid, including being a partner of the Call to Action on Protection from Gender-Based Violence in Emergencies, a multi-stakeholder initiative that aims to mitigate and provide accountability for gender-based violence in humanitarian emergencies.
At the multilateral level, France is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, holding veto power on all Council decisions, and possesses nuclear weapons.
Global Gender Gap Index 2020
15 out of 153
Arms Trade Treaty Ratified
Military expenditure (2019)
$50 billion USD
Explore France's National Action Plan
In the process of implementing the last two NAPs and developing the current one, France assigned the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs; the Ministry of Armed Forces; the Ministry of Culture; the Ministry of the Interior; the Ministry of Justice; the Ministry for National Education, Youth and Sport; the Ministry for Higher Education, Research and Innovation; the Ministry for Gender Equality, Diversity and Equal opportunities; the Agence Française Développement; and the French office for the protection of refugees and stateless persons. The Ministry for Solidarity and Health was also consulted to provide its expertise on sexual and reproductive rights and health. The national consultative Commission on Human Rights, the High Council for Gender Equality, and civil society were consulted for drafting and will participate in implementation.
The timeframe of the NAP is 2021-2025.
- Strengthen and develop the available training specifically on the inclusion of gender and the protection of women against sexual violence and violent extremisms in conflict and post-conflict situations. Every stakeholder concerned by this plan will be responsible for providing training to all the staff in charge of the implementation, especially law enforcement and the judiciary, and in particular the personas in charge of welcoming and guiding survivors of violence in France and abroad.
- Continue to develop teaching tools for including gender and protection against sexual violence and violent extremisms in conflict and post-conflict situations (information sheets, models, regular seminars presenting agenda topics).
- Continue education policies on prevention and fighting gender inequalities and sexist and sexual violence, which help train future citizens, renew community education and youth initiatives, and develop actions in the fields of informal and non-formal education.
- Strengthen French programmes dedicated to gender challenges in conflict and post-conflict humanitarian contexts, especially in coordination with civil society in countries where these programmes are applied, increase the specific support that must be provided for women and girls who are survivors of violence, including sexual violence; include the OECD “gender” marker in bilateral humanitarian projects, as France committed to in tis humanitarian strategy for 2018-2022 and continue to advocate for its incorporation by the UN and European Agencies, funds and programmes.
- Strengthen support to the documentation, collection and analysis of sex-disaggregated data and investigations into sexual violence.
Aligned with different thematic issues, there are a variety of activities in the NAP.
On protection: advocacy actions in international forums, especially those dealing with peace and security matters and conflict resolution, supporting the inclusion of the protection of women from sexual violence and violent extremisms in conflict and post-conflict situations, the promotion and defense of the sexual and reproductive health and rights of women and girls, the defense of human rights defenders and a general gender perspective.
On protection: the inclusion of gender in the strategic, organizational and operational corpus of the French system in conflict areas.
On protection: financing projects dedicated to the protection of women and children in crisis and conflict contexts and the reduction of gender-based violence (child marriages and forced marriage, trafficking and slavery, sexual violence as a weapon of war, etc.)
On participation: Continue to enhance direct participation of women in peacekeeping and rebuilding operations by supporting their access to positions within civilian and military units, and in senior positions in the chain of command. Increase the number of French women, and their levels of responsibility, within the peace talks that France takes part in. Promote the participation of women in managing and implementing cooperation development and humanitarian projects and programmes in crisis and conflict areas, and encourage them to take on positions of responsibility.
On promotion of the WPS Agenda: establish contact points within every administration concerned, including diplomatic posts; implementation and coordination with the other existing French strategies on gender and peace and security, including France’s International Strategy on Gender Equality (2018-2022).
The NAP states that civil society will be closely involved in monitoring implementation. To this end, a regular dialogue will be institutionalized with French civil society and that of the priority countries for all challenges linked to the implementation of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda. The implementation will be evaluated by the High Council for Gender Equality and the National Consultative Commission on Human Rights. A report of the plan will be presented to the National Assembly and the Senate.
The NAP references financing and budget in relation to the successful implementation of different activities of the NAP.
Actors - NAP Development
There is no lead agent named in the French NAP, but the NAP was launched as part of a meeting of the CEDAW/CEDEF Committee held in Paris on May 20 and 21, 2010. Many international organizations were involved, but French members of parliament attended.
Civil society was consulted during the drafting phases of the NAP, which largely came out of the May 2010 meeting of the CEDAW/CEDEF Committee in Paris with many international institutions, including the International Committee of the Red Cross, human rights organizations, and unspecified NGOs.
WILPF does not have a country section in France and therefore was not involved in the development process of France’s NAP.
Actors - NAP Implementation
Civil society has an ongoing specified role in the implementation Steering Committee. This includes women’s organizations and the National Consultative Commission on Human Rights, an independent body with a pluralistic civil society membership, charged with advising government on human rights issues.
Government institutions listed for implementing France's NAP include: Ministries of Foreign and European Affairs, Justice and Freedoms, Defence, the Interior, National Education, Labour, Immigration, Integration, National Identity and Solidarity Development, General Directorate of Global Affairs, Development and Partnerships, General Directorate of Political and Security Affairs, French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons, French Agency for Development, International Organization of Francophone.
Actors - NAP Monitoring and Evaluation
During the commitment phase of second revised NAP (2015-2018), the implementation of the NAP will be assessed through half-yearly meetings of a steering committee (composed of relevant ministries and administrations). The French National Consultative Commission on Human Rights (CNCDH) and the French High Council for Gender Equality (HCE) will attend one steering committee meeting per year. HCE and CNCDH will also contribute to mid-term and final evaluations of the NAP implementation. The final report will be presented to the relevant Parliamentary committees. It has also been decided that throughout the commitment phase of the NAP, best practices would be exchanged with other EU members.
Many of these same government institutions are a part of the Steering Committee that is responsible for monitoring and evaluating the French NAP.
The French NAP will be implemented for the period 2015-2018.
The French National Action Plan relies on 5 pillars:
Pillar 1: Participation of women in managing conflict and post-conflict situations;
Pillar 2: Protecting women against violence and protecting women’s rights during conflict and postconflict periods;
Pillar 3: Fighting impunity;
Pillar 4: Prevention by raising awareness of the issues linked to the fight against gender violence, women’s rights and gender rights
Pillar 5: Promoting the “Women, Peace and Security” agenda regionally and internationally
Pillars 1 to 4 have been designed with ambitions in terms of Domestic policy; Bilateral activities and Cooperation Programs; Multilateral activities.
The French NAP consists of 4 pillars:
- Protecting women against violence and working to ensure respect for their fundamental rights
- Participation of women in managing conflict and post-conflict situations
- Raising awareness of respect for women’s rights in training programmes
- Developing political and diplomatic action
The French second revised NAP displays a list of commitments for each goal and each pillar in a "Commitment" table. The table also mentions monitoring indicators and overseeing bodies.
For instance, Pillar 1, Goal 1, "Increase the participation of women in peace-keeping and peace-consolidation operations in which France is involved (civilian and military components)" includes the following actions:
1) Continue the policy of professional equality between the women and men of the Defence Ministry, particularly by increased female persoynnel in recruitment centres, military schools and officer training schools
2) Measures to increase the participation of women in peace keeping or CSDP missions
3) Strengthen communication actions to promote the participation of women in civilian operations in the field
Each Objective consists of many actions. For example, Pillar 3, Goal 2 "To systematically include awareness raising of respect for the rights of women and girls and gender equality in our action relating to security system reform (SSR), peacekeeping and security and support for transitional justice processes." includes the following actions:
1) Designate and create focal points
2) Identify targeted training
3) Inform and mobilise the diplomatic network about France’s action on the issue and its inclusion in existing programmes
4) Publish and disseminate through the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs a cooperation action fact sheet on gender equality
5) Carry out a study in partnership with UNICEF
6) Disseminate the conclusions and operational recommendations
7) Regularly track the proportion (number and percentage) of men and women receiving specific gender equality training
Each action contains numerous indicators. For example, Pillar 1, Goal 1, "Increase the participation of women in peace-keeping and peace-consolidation operations in which France is involved (civilian and military components) " includes two specific indicators.
1) Annual growth of 10% among female staff in each structure, including management
2) Proportion of female students at the école d’état-major (military training school) and the école de guerre (war school)
The French NAP references Global indicators on the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (Report of the United Nations Secretary-General of 6 April 2010) and Indicators for the comprehensive approach to the EU implementation of Resolutions 1325 and 1820 (2010) used for assessing the success of the implementaiton of its commitments.
The indicators mostly relate to the number of women involved in particular institutions or intiatives (absolute numbers and/or percentages), number of people who have been trained for promoting a certain program, turnover in relevant bodies, and in particular for female actors, number of intiatives/programs implemented to support achieving the goal.
Monitoring and Evaluation
The French National Action Plan is a ‘living document’ which is subject to open and ongoing review. A Steering Committee comprised of responsible government departments is tasked with coordinating implementation, monitoring and evaluation. The Steering Committee is required to meet bi-annually, in addition to holding ad hoc meetings as required.
Civil Society will be invited to participate in the bi-annual meetings which include the National Consultative Commission on Human Rights, women’s rights organizations specializing in peace and security issues and parliamentary women’s rights and gender equality delegations.
An annual progress report will be prepared by the Steering Committee and tabled in parliament. The NAP will apply the monitoring indicators developed by the European Union.
The second revised NAP does not include an allocated budget but points out the many financial contributions they made during the period of the previous NAP in Women, Peace and Security related programs
The NAP does not include an allocated or an estimated budget. No indicators or actions are included that formulate strategies for fundraising, detail what level of funding is required for which specific activities, or what accountability mechanisms will ensure funding is raised and used in implementing the NAP.
The French NAP does not offer any specific actions for disarmament. They acknowledge the need for a specific focus on women in Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) and Security Sector Reform (SSR) however, they put forth no specific actions to achieve this goal. For example, they support programs that provide revenue for women who are ex-combatants or associated with them, or affected by armed conflict.