Under a Social Democratic-led government Sweden was the first country to pursue a feminist foreign policy. Between 2014-2022 we systematically analysed what decisions would mean for women and girls, using the three Rs – rights, representation and resources. Although the Swedish right-wing government decided to abolish this policy, several countries with different political colours have […]
What does feminist foreign policy mean for progressives?
On Wednesday 1 March, a week before International Women’s Day, the centre-left German government announced the guidelines for the pursuit of its new feminist foreign policy. But what does exactly a feminist foreign policy entail? What potential does it offer? What are its likely criticalities? And what are the challenges that lie ahead?
In this new dossier, the Progressive Post explores this concept of feminist foreign policy – the contours of which still need to be fully outlined. It is already clear, however, that feminist foreign policy implies ensuring the respect of women’s rights, as well as the active participation of women in the decision-making process, rather than them simply being on the receiving end of policies. It also involves the adoption of a gender lens when dealing with human rights, peace, security, development and trade. Yet we must neither oversimplify feminist foreign policy by thinking that it is only a question of perspective, nor must we reinforce stereotypes about women’s approach to security. The final goal of feminist foreign policy, in fact, must be to shape policies differently while at the same time addressing inequalities and changing power structures – goals that are deeply engraved in the progressives’ agenda.
Traditionally, foreign policy has belonged to the realm of high politics and has long been conducted in accordance with the doctrine of the raison d’état (reason of State) and in the arcana imperii (State secrets), where only men have been present. Foreign policy, more than other policies, has therefore been particularly masculinised. When, in 2014, […]
With Sweden, Canada, France, Luxembourg, Mexico, Spain, Libya, Germany and Chile adopting various forms of feminist foreign policies over the past decade, and with the growing interest of other countries in adopting similar policies, it is imperative to assess the importance of feminist foreign policy and its potentially transformative impact on women’s rights and human […]