The buzz around feminist foreign policy is growing, but what does it mean, really?

Here’s your crash course.


The Official CFFP Definition

A feminist foreign policy is a framework which elevates the everyday lived experience of marginalized communities to the forefront and provides a broader and deeper analysis of global issues. It takes a step outside the black box approach of traditional foreign policy thinking and its focus on military force, violence, and domination by offering an alternate and intersectional rethinking of security from the viewpoint of the most marginalised. It is a multidimensional policy framework that aims to elevate women’s and marginalised groups’ experiences and agency to scrutinise the destructive forces of patriarchy, capitalism, racism, and militarism. CFFP believes a feminist approach to foreign policy provides a powerful lens through which we can interrogate the hierarchical global systems of power that have left millions of people in a perpetual state of vulnerability.

A feminist perspective has been implemented in academic scholarship, but less so in policy practice. CFFP wants to draw lessons from key critical scholarships into tangible policy development and make discussions on foreign policy more accessible and democratic. In order to do this, we challenge the dominant narratives of international political discourse and push for structural and hierarchical change to challenge systems that perpetuate the status quo; the intertwined structures that sustain global patterns of oppression and discrimination must end. We ask difficult questions and engage those who have traditionally not been included in foreign policy in order to elevate the voices of those who’ve suffered from global injustices. This means emphasizing historicised, context-specific analyses of how destructive dichotomies play out in practice, as well as interrogating domestic and foreign policy decisions to push for a more just global order.

A Quick History

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The Feminist Foreign Policy Web Dossier

We are delighted and proud to launch the web dossier on feminist foreign policy, which has been produced together with our partner, the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung. The dossier showcases how feminist activists challenge the status quo of foreign policy - from Colombian women, who with the support of Norway and Sweden, lobbied their way into the peace process to Canadian civil society organisations developing feminists visions for the G7. The dossier furthers discusses how the EU foreign policy towards Myanmar needs to change in order to support local actors overcoming social exlcusion and discrimination. Michelle Müntefering, Minister of State in the German Federal Foreign Office, outlines how Germany will push for more social justice and gender equality in the UN Security Council - and German civil society highlights where Germany can do even more. Our own Kristina Lunz and Nina Bernarding discuss why the idea of a secure and just world will remain an utopia without a feminist foreign policy. 

Above all, this dossier demonstrates that a feminist foreign policy is possible! Stay tuned as we add more pieces to the web dossier over the coming months. 

The Feminist Foreign Policy Reading List

It’s finally here! Click through for your reading list with 👏 every 👏 single 👏 existing 👏 resource 👏 on feminist foreign policy. Boom.

what’s everyone up to?

Click through to read what states and political parties are doing with feminist foreign policy.