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.