In April 2024, a delegation of seven African and Latin American activists met with several high-level French politicians in Paris. The aim of this week of advocacy? To share their experiences and bring forward their recommendations for France to perpetuate its financial and political support for feminist organizations around the world. This action was supported by the six partner organizations of the “Feminists in Action” (FEA) fund. For Equipop, which spearheaded the activity, it was a key moment in strengthening transnational feminist solidarity and defending feminist funding within the European dynamics of the “Walking the talk” project. The messages of the seven activists have been heard. From now on, Equipop and its partners will follow up on these commitments from Paris.

In January 2023, a delegation of seven African activists had already travelled to Paris at the invitation of the “Feminists in Action” (FEA) initiative. From April 22 to 26, 2024, Benedicta ALOAKINNOU, Zita Désirée BELEM, Catherine DJIMET, Najat IKHICH, Constanza JAUREGUI TAMA, Gratias KIBANJA LUKOO and Yolande VIA took up the torch. Their advocacy was aimed at getting feminist issues back on the (geo)political agenda of the French state, but also at dialoguing with private foundations, the media and associations.

Three main common messages: funding, supporting the political participation of activists, guaranteeing their safety

During these high-level political meetings, the seven activists from the “Feminists in Action” delegation shared the realities of their day-to-day work. On the front line, they develop fundamental activities to advance the rights of women and gender minorities. But despite the strength of their activism, the impact of their projects is often limited to the individual. Lacking sufficient resources, women activists struggle to bring about structural change, while facing systemic obstacles. This is why, in order to ensure uncompromising political and financial support, France’s action must follow three main axes: 


Axis n°1 – Provide sustainable funding for feminist organizations in line with real needs and challenges: France must continue to provide funding for feminist organizations to enable activists to fight against sociocultural constraints, create large-scale networks and transform national institutions.


Axis n°2 – Support the participation of women activists in decision-making: if women are not involved in decision-making processes, these decisions will never be taken in their favor. France must therefore financially support the participation of feminists in multilateral forums, but also guarantee that exchanges in these forums are effectively translated.

Axis n°3 – Guarantee the safety of activists in the face of new threats: the threats to feminists are serious and particularly virulent, as they are targeted daily by anti-rights movements, including on the Internet. This violence must not go unanswered. France must consider feminist activists as human rights defenders, create an emergency fund specifically dedicated to their protection, and facilitate visa procedures.

Messages heard, commitments reiterated

“Feminists in Action” activists made their messages heard at several institutional levels and in numerous media. Their recommendations, set out in greater detail in a position paper, will provide France with food for thought when it comes to implementing its feminist foreign policy. These exchanges are also invaluable at a time when backlash against the rights of women and LGBTQIA+ people is becoming widespread around the world. 


At every level, political decision-makers affirmed that feminist foreign policy will remain a priority for France.

The office of the President of the Republic has indicated that the budget cuts arbitrated by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs (MEAE) should not significantly affect the gender budget of France’s Official Development Assistance (ODA). For its part, the office of the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs pledged to give sanctuary to feminist foreign policy, an important subject “including at ministerial level”, and reaffirmed the priority given by the Ministry to the Support Fund for Feminist Organizations (FSOF) for the year 2024. Finally, the MEAE pledged to facilitate visa procedures for feminist activists. For its part, the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) Group’s General Management has pledged to prioritize budget cuts so as to preserve funding for feminists, the FSOF and gender equality projects. Finally, the deputies pledged to defend feminist funding, notably by organizing a transparent exchange with members of the National Assembly’s Foreign Affairs Committee, as well as through questions to the Government.

Where do we go from here? Vigilance is the order of the day

While political leaders have reaffirmed their support, our vigilance must not waver. At present, no commitment has been made beyond 2024. 

Yet the Support Fund for Feminist Organizations (FSOF) is a transformative initiative that is beginning to bear fruit. The “Feminists in Action” fund is also an effective and successful project, supporting over 230 feminist organizations in some thirty countries. The usefulness of this type of mechanism is well proven. The flexibility of intermediated funds enables feminist organizations to obtain the financing they need to create a feminist, egalitarian and inclusive social project. 

The moment of truth will come in autumn 2024, when the government publishes the new French feminist strategy. In order to match words with deeds, France must support this strategy with funding.   


For the coming years, we call on the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, the Agence Française de Développement, and the Ministry of Economy and Finance to renew FSOF projects on a multi-year basis, to guarantee the sustainability of intermediated funds, and to protect feminist funding from budget cuts. Finally, we call on MPs to vote for a new multi-year law, the text of which guarantees an increase in the budget for gendered ODA.