Study on gender training in the European Union : mapping, research and stakeholders' engagement (2012–13). France
Since May 2012, French gender equality policies are coordinated by the Ministry of Women's Rights. Gender equality machineries at the regional (Délégations Régionales aux Droits des Femmes et à l'Egalité, DRDFE) and local (Délégations Départementales aux Droits des Femmes et à l'Égalité) level are placed under the coordination of the Women's Rights and Gender Equality Unit, within the Directorate-General for Social Cohesion (DGCS), in the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. Gender mainstreaming is defined by the 2006 organic law on finances as ‘the integration of respective needs of men and women in the design and implementation of sectoral policies'. Every year transversal policies related to women's rights and gender equality (and their share of the total state budget) are presented in a policy document entitled ‘Documents de politique transversale — politique de l'égalité entre les femmes et les hommes'.
The Ministry of Women's Rights works on an interministerial and interdepartmental basis, which is illustrated by the ‘Comité interministériel aux droits des femmes et à l'égalité entre les femmes et les hommes' (interministerial committee on women's rights and gender equality). Any issue relevant to gender equality in the work of respective ministries and administrations is monitored by the Ministry of Women's Rights. Each ministry has appointed the ‘Hauts fonctionnaires à l'égalité' (high-ranked public servants for gender equality) since June 2012. Their work is directly coordinated by the Ministry of Women's Rights. Their role is to implement a mainstreaming approach and to ensure that gender equality legislation is fully implemented. They are also in charge of designing gender equality plans for their respective policy areas.
‘Hauts fonctionnaires à l'égalité' are members of the ‘Haut Conseil à l'Egalité' (high equality committee), the new French gender equality body instituted in January 2013 and placed under the responsibility of the Ministry of Women's Rights. Gender training is now an important part of gender mainstreaming policies in France. Establishing quality criteria for gender training actions targeted to both public administrations and the private sector was mentioned as one of the five issues to be immediately tackled by the ‘Haut Conseil à l'Egalité'. Between October and November 2012 all ministers were given hour-long individual sessions against sexism by Caroline de Haas, the Minister for Women's Rights' Principal Adviser and former civil society feminist activist.