– G7 Finance Ministerial Meeting: reaction of Women 7 feminist organisations
A missed opportunity to take ambitious financial actions on women’s and girls’ rights
The G7 countries finance ministers as well as several multilateral financial institutions governors met on 17 and 18 July in Chantilly. It was the last ministerial meeting before the Biarritz Summit, and a key opportunity to announce ambitious funding for women’s and girls’ rights. Today, it does not add up and one question remains: where is the funding for feminist public policies? Without significant increases in budgets for women’s and girls’ rights at national and international levels, the feminist position defended by ministers Jean-Yves Le Drian and Marlène Schiappa will remain a hollow promise.
Insufficient funding for true feminist public policies
The French Presidency has to prove that the fight against inequalities is not just a catchphrase. It is time for France to convince its G7 partners to put money on the table for feminist associations, otherwise this G7 will be a failure. The Women 7 calls on G7 countries to fund gender-responsive ambitious public policies and increase funding allocated to feminist associations in the world. France took a first step with the announcement of the creation of a 120 million euros fund for feminist associations in southern countries. The modalities still have to be clarified, in collaboration with associations. Additional financial efforts are expected at national level, as French feminist associations continue to ask for an increased budget allocated to the fight against domestic violences.
Regarding the official development assistance, we regret that the final G7 Finance statement does not mention the importance of promoting and adopting a feminist official development assistance (ODA), a W7 flagship request. At the present time, close to 54% of G7 countries’ ODA is totally blind to gender equality issues. It is necessary that G7 countries commit to adopt a feminist ODA, logical dangling to the feminist diplomacy supported by France but also Canada.
French support to women’s digital financial inclusion
The Women 7 is pleased that women’s economic empowerment was at the ministerial negotiation table, through the presentation of Bill and Melinda Gates foundation initiative on women’s digital financial inclusion in Africa. We now call other G7 countries to contribute to this new mechanism and to multiply initiatives in favor of gender equality in every area. These initiatives will follow the right path if they allow women to escape poverty and to fully exercise their rights.
Last stop, Biarritz
The Women 7, in its recommendations for Finance Ministerial meeting, asks G7 countries to commit to allocate 1.4 billion US dollars to gender equality. For now, ambitious financial commitments are still expected. Initiatives and deliverables driven by France and G7 countries on gender equality will be concrete only if they are financed in relevant ways. Just a month away from the leaders summit, we are now waiting for concrete evidence of G7 countries commitment in favor of women’s and girls’ rights, including a financial one.
The W7 (Women 7) brings together feminist organisations from G7 countries and around the world. Its main mission is to ensure that G7 countries make both financial and political commitments, in 2019 and beyond, that will have a tangible and lasting impact on the lives of women and girls around the world.