First global forum of francophone women promotes women’s rights

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First global forum of francophone women promotes women’s rights

20 March 2013

More than 400 women dedicated to guarantee the respect of the fundamental rights of women, their access to school and education, gender equality or the representation of women in politics gathered in Paris on 20 March for the first global forum of francophone women.

The forum was an opportunity to share experiences and find ways to promote the rights of women and to ensure gender equality in the francophone countries. Participants developed an action plan which will be submitted to the President of the Republic of France and Secretary General of the Francophonie.

During the meeting, UNAIDS presented a new report entitled 5 actions for women and HIV in La Francophonie, which outlines 5 actions to meet the challenges that women and girls face and support them as partners in the response to AIDS. 


We cannot accept and we will not accept anything that limits women's access to health and education. We cannot accept and we will not accept that women can be victims of sexual violence. Freedom, equality and the dignity of women are a universal cause.

François Hollande, President of France

There are several reasons why women and girls are vulnerable to AIDS, including gender inequality, violence and the violation of their sexual and reproductive rights. Societies can change through the empowerment of women and girls in social, economic and political spheres and by involving them as partners and leaders in the AIDS response. The measures proposed in this report contribute to the health and better future of women and girls in the francophone world. Let’s make it a reality.

Yamina Benguigui, French Minister Delegate for the Francophonie

Men and women are addressing these challenges with a common interest. Through an equitable and effective participation, women from Member States of the International Organization of the Francophonie can use their own skills and resources to achieve the common goals of zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths.

Michel Sidibé, UNAIDS Executive Director