Declaration for International Women’s Day

The Association of Women in Southern Europe, the European federation of feminist associations, joined with Euromed Network France, national platform of associations,

Remind you that the equality of men and women is considered a value, a fundamental right, and sacred and universal objective by European and global treaties that impose onto states the obligation to eliminate inequalities to which women are subject and to promote gender equality in every domain.

Consider that France has a unique responsibility and serves as a role model for the promotion of equality between men and women and the rights of women in the world. This must be viewed as a significant part of France’s politics, both internally and externally.

Consider that the equality of men and women constitutes a dimension of social justice and is a major economic asset  for the promotion of egalitarian and inclusive economic growth in France, Europe, and the world. It is necessary for the achievement of international objectives related to development and the success of foreign politics and all political cooperation related to development of France.

Express their grave concerns in relation to :

The escalation of inequalities, poverty, and social exclusion that disproportionately affect women and, in particular, female immigrants, youths and children, the vulnerable, and those struggling economically, that are disfavorable to equality and cannot be justified.

Increasingly numerous and sometimes violent attempts to impede and/or destroy the state of justice and the democratic principles that manifest on the national, European, and international level, which threaten the enjoyment of equal rights for humanity that do not distinguish between women and men, girls and boys.

Increasing violence against women in spaces of war and conflict and the generally worsening conditions for women in the Euro-mediterranean region.

Demand of the candidates running in the Presidential Elections of the French Republic what they envision for the promotion of equality between men and women and the universal rights of women, in accordance with European and international treaties, as well as in cooperation with feminist organizations and civil society that fight for the rights of women. You must urgently call for:

  1. the promotion of universal access to health services, and sexual and reproductive health services in particular, and of rights to this effect that constitute a fundamental right as well as information and education necessary for the reduction of maternal and infant mortality;
  1. respect for and promotion of fundamental social rights that are crucial for the preservation of social cohesion and for the economic recovery of France, Europe, and the world and the adoption of measures that favor the employment of women and an equilibrium between family and professional life for men and women, particularly through the reinforcement of labor rights and social services;
  1. exercise politics of asylum and immigration in accordance with human rights, particularly in the dimension of gender; in this regard, adopt specific measures guaranteeing that the rights of women demanding asylum will be reinforced and respected, guarantee an individual right of stay for female immigrants, and work with the European Union towards respect for the principle of non-refoulement and all human rights of irregular immigrants, particularly those who are most vulnerable, women, and children;
  1. work to make the fight against violence against women and against impunity an absolute priority, in the cooperative effort to develop and ratify as part of the Istanbul Convention of the Council of Europe an element of conditionality of rights in bilateral Euro-Mediterranean treaties; promote the application of resolutions 1325 and 1820 for women, peace, and security which were created by the Security Council and the United Nations, recalling the guarantees from which women and girls must benefit, particularly in terms of their protection against the use of rape as a weapon of war and forced prostitution;
  1. work for the implementation of equality between women and men through all external politics of the EU; work to introduce the obligation to respect the rights of women through structured dialogues, in all partnerships and bilateral negotiations of the Union, as well as to put in place mechanisms for the application and regulation of adopted action plans, and of juridical mechanisms sanctioning violations of fundamental rights, without which the equality of women and men would be impossible.

Paris, March 8th 2017