France has undertaken to conduct a feminist foreign policy. As part of that commitment, it is actively promoting the rights of women and girls and hosted the Generation Equality Forum in the first half of 2021.
The Support Fund for Feminist Organizations (Fonds de soutien aux organisations féministes - FSOF) will round out the other international initiatives and bilateral projects on equality issues funded by France. It will mobilize €120 million over three years (2020, 2021, 2022) to fund the activities of feminist movements around the world. It will target organizations of local civil society working to promote gender equality and the rights of women and girls.
The Fund will concentrate on the priority countries of France’s development policy (initiatives in Africa have a priority of 65%), but it will also target civil society organizations in other countries where significant gender equality issues exist.
The themes covered by the Fund over its three years of implementation include:
- sexual and reproductive health and rights, and comprehensive sexuality education;
- the fight against gender-based and sexual discrimination and violence, including the fight against harmful practices (female genital mutilation, child and forced marriage);
- women’s empowerment and economic participation;
- women’s social and political leadership;
- girls’ access to primary, secondary, and higher education;
- the “Women, Peace and Security” agenda and the role of women in crises;
- gender and climate.
In 2020, special attention will be given to the theme “Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights and Comprehensive Sexuality Education.”
Consultation with civil society will take place twice a year, in particular to exchange views on the themes and countries to which the Fund should give priority.
Three types of funding proposed
The Support Fund for Feminist Organizations offers three complementary funding channels adapted to the needs of each type of CSO, which can apply for funding from the channel that matches their profile:
- AFD projects and calls for projects targeting feminist CSOs in partner countries;
- AFD’s CSO Initiatives mechanism, targeting French CSOs;
- The FSPI/PISSCA funding mechanism of the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, for feminist CSOs in partner countries.