France

France adopted its most recent National Action Plan (NAP) in 2015 for the period 2015-2018. The NAP was developed through the collaborative work of multiple ministries as well as through a consultative process that included civil society organizations. The NAP approaches the implementation of the agenda both domestically and internationally, and has five overarching pillars that focus on participation; protection; fighting impunity; prevention; and promoting the Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) agenda. Each pillar has corresponding objectives, actions, and indicates, but the NAP does not have an allocated budget. 

France’s second NAP is preceded by one other NAP, adopted in 2010 and implemented for the period 2010-2013. The NAP has four overarching goals: protecting women against violence and working to ensure respect for women’s fundamental rights; participation of women in managing conflict and post-conflict situations; raising awareness of respect for women’s rights in training programmes; and developing political and diplomatic action. Each goal has specific objectives and indicators; nevertheless, the NAP does not include a detailed monitoring and evaluation framework, beyond biannual meetings of its steering committee as well as with civil society organizations. The second NAP provides an overview of activities undertaken to fulfill France’s WPS commitments, but does not include an evaluation or a lessons learned section based on findings from the first NAP’s implementation. While the overall goals of the NAP are mostly similar to those of the first NAP, the revised action plan incorporates “fighting impunity” and “promoting the WPS agenda regionally and internationally” among its goals. Similar to its predecessor, the second NAP does not have a detailed monitoring and evaluation framework or an allocated budget. 

France reported on the implementation of its NAP in its national reporting for Beijing+25 and in preparation for CSW64 (2020). Specifically, France indicated that it is developing its third NAP and that it will focus on raising awareness of the WPS agenda and its mainstreaming in national and international action on the rights of women in conflict (p. 56)

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. 

CEDAW

1983

Global Gender Gap Index 2020

15 out of 153

Arms Trade Treaty Ratified

2014

Military expenditure (2019)

$50 billion USD

Explore France's National Action Plan

  • Actors
  • Timeframe
  • Objectives
  • Actions/Activities
  • Indicators
  • M&E
  • Budget
  • Disarmament

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.

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.

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 offers a timetable for each specific objective. Most of them are general (2015-2018), but some are more specific and include revision phases.

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:

  1. Protecting women against violence and working to ensure respect for their fundamental rights
  2. Participation of women in managing conflict and post-conflict situations
  3. Raising awareness of respect for women’s rights in training programmes
  4. 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.

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.

Documents and Further Reading

Creating an International Gender and Peace Agenda: Transnational Companies, Weapons and Nuclear Testing (2016)
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