What is a feminist foreign policy?
And furthermore what is an intersectional feminist foreign policy?
More than any other time in recent history we are seeing an increase in conflict, violence and displacement around the world orchestrated by state actors and non state actors.
The conflicts which have been destroying and continue to destroy countries, such as Syria, Iraq, Libya and Yemen, to name a very small handful of countries, have been impacted by decisions made through foreign policy, where much of the power seems to come from Washington, London, Moscow, Paris and other capitals in the world.
The unfortunate reality of conflict is its massive impact on women and girls and the interventions orchestrated through foreign policy which often ignores, sidelines, or belittles women’s voices and participation. The efforts made have often been half hearted and investment in this area has always fallen short. We know that even where there has been success with foreign policy initiative such as ensuring more girls are attending schools and obtaining a night education in countries such as Afghanistan, that girls continue to be targets for violence and oppressive patriarchal practices and their human rights denied.
A feminist foreign policy is the exact opposite of what most foreign policy looks like and Intersectional foreign policy takes this concept one step further and unapologetically puts the wellbeing and safety and security of women and girls at the heart of foreign policy by explicitly acknowledging how women’s identity, their race, class, gender, sexual persuasion and disability further impacts their lives and visibility as targets of violence and oppression.
Through an intersectional feminist foreign policy we seek:
– To bring marginalised women, their lived experiences, realities and ‘localised’ solutions to solve the huge challenges women and girls face in their daily lives
– To change narratives by prizing open space for marginalised women to speak about their realities. (And be the ones leading the change)
– To influence policy makers to look at new and holistic ways of working with marginalised women so our foreign policy creates no further harm to women and girls.
– To influence these discussions by creating a network of intersectional feminists – bringing critical thinking and analysis to the table.
– To connect women living in conflict countries and supporting them to access spaces that have been closed off do them because of how their identities intersect.
– Urgent solutions to address the growing catastrophic emergencies impacting women around the world.
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