Press communiqué from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
On the occasion of the first International Day of the Girl (October 11, 2012), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs would like to stress its commitment to equal rights and opportunities for men and women, beginning at the youngest age.
Every year, between 350,000 and 500,000 women still die from complications linked to pregnancy and childbirth, the main cause of death among teenage girls in most developing countries. Most of these deaths could be prevented by family planning policies guaranteeing reproductive rights and the right to safe abortions, and by the implementation of mechanisms to protect minors effectively against violence and early pregnancy. France has pledged to invest an additional €500 million to fight maternal and infant mortality between 2011 and 2015.
Equal opportunity depends first and foremost on improving women’s and girls’ access to education. In Sub-Saharan Africa, 15% to 25% of young women still have no access to secondary school. France has allocated €3.27 million to educational programs for the girls of Sub-Saharan Africa for 2011-2013.