March 28, 2023

Emmanuel Macron announced this Sunday, January 29, the arrival of the new winners and winner of the Marianne initiative. The goal is to support the projects of human rights defenders around the world.

In a video posted this Sunday on Twitter, Emmanuel Macron announced the launch of the second promotion of the Marianne Initiative. This initiative was launched in 2021 on the occasion of International Human Rights Day. According to the official website“the President of the Republic wanted the implementation of a new initiative aimed at strengthening the action of France in favor of their defenders, both abroad and in France.”


Often criticized by feminist associations and movements for not having really made gender equality the “great cause of the five-year term”, the President of the Republic has once again put the fight for women’s rights in the foreground. In his video, he explains that the first victims of oppression in the world are often women: the fight for human rights “is more topical than ever in a context where repression in the four corners of the world is increasing. From the Horn of Africa to the Middle East via Asia and Central America. As often, the first victims of this oppression are women and young girls.

Emmanuel Macron also mentioned the case of Iranian women, with the example of Mahsa Amini. This young Iranian student was murdered on December 16, 2022 three days after her arrest by the morality police in Tehran for “wearing inappropriate clothing” (a lock of hair was visible). Her death created a wind of revolt in the world and many personalities then showed themselves on social networks, cutting a lock of hair in support of the struggle of Iranian women.

Emmanuel Macron explains that Mahsa Amini “has today become a symbol for all of us, she must be more than that”, adding that this symbol must push us to action. The President of the Republic then introduced the Marianne initiative, the first promotion of which was composed only of women.

Freedom of expression, LGBTQ+ rights…

The first promotion of the Marianne initiative was made up of fifteen women from all over the world: China, Afghanistan, Burma, Belarus, Tanzania, Sudan, Nicaragua, Colombia, Turkey, Russia, Syria, Palestine and Iraq. According to the initiative’s official website, the laureates benefited from “personalized support within a place of exchange and training, open to all actors in the cause of human rights”.

Their projects defended the freedom of expression, women’s rights, human rights, democracy, environmental preservation, the rights of LGBTQ+ people and the rights of political prisoners. Emmanuel Macron affirmed that these women were able to “access a training program, giving them new tools to pursue their commitments in their country, or in France for those of them who wished to apply for asylum”.

The names and projects of the winners of the second promotion are not yet known. We know, however, that men will also be part of it this year. Emmanuel Macron considered that the diversity of the winners and that of their fights “illustrates the universality of our fight to all for human rights”, which he describes as “our greatest common good”.

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