Conference on Shaping Feminist Foreign Policy
What exactly should guide German feminist foreign policy in the future? And what can Germany learn from countries that are already shaping their foreign and security policy to be feminist? These will be the big questions in Berlin on 12 September - our spokesperson Zoë Claire Miller takes part in the expert panel.
How can gender-based violence be prevented? How can we address the strong and growing resistance facing gender issues? What can we do to bolster women’s participation in economic life and to build more inclusive, resilient and productive economies? What might feminist cultural relations and education policy look like? What role do women play in arms and small arms control? What are the core aspects of gender-sensitive humanitarian assistance? Where do things stand with gender budgeting? How does feminist foreign policy foster peace and security around the world?
These questions and more will be on the agenda at the international conference Shaping Feminist Foreign Policy, taking place at the Federal Foreign Office on 12 September 2022. Since the current Federal Government took office, Germany has been among the countries pursuing feminist foreign policy.
* What is feminist foreign policy?
Feminist foreign policy is based on the conviction that gender equity and equal participation are preconditions for long-term peace and security. It recognises that not all social groups around the world have the same access to political participation, opportunities and resources. It strives to dismantle the obstacles responsible for this discrepancy, such as power structures that disadvantage certain groups.
The Federal Government wrote in the coalition agreement of November 2021: “Together with our partners, we want to strengthen the rights, resources and representation of women and girls worldwide and promote social diversity with a feminist foreign policy in mind.”
Feminist foreign policy is everyone’s business
Feminist foreign policy is inclusive policy. The Federal Foreign Office has the task of developing and implementing the principles, fields of action and instruments of Germany’s feminist foreign policy in detail. A consultation process has been launched to this end. The conference on 12 September is an important milestone in the consultation process with Federal Foreign Office staff, partners, experts and civil-society representatives. They are invited to contribute their expectations and recommendations regarding German feminist foreign policy. The conference will also focus on discussion of the experience gained to date, with countries that have already been practising feminist foreign policy for some time as well as those that are only just taking an interest in it. Several Foreign Ministers will therefore be among the participants.
The outcomes of their discussions will feed into guidelines for German feminist foreign policy that will be published in the spring of 2023. Feminist foreign policy will also be integrated into the National Security Strategy that is currently being drawn up under the leadership of the Federal Foreign Office.
Feminist foreign policy is not a women’s issue or a policy “by women for women”. It is not about shutting out men – quite the opposite! Feminist foreign policy is aimed at all parts of society. This is more equitable and results in more sustainable solutions.
More information on the conference can be found at www.shapingfeministforeignpolicy.org. The speech by Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and the high-level Foreign Ministers’ segment will be livestreamed on the conference website from 2 p.m. CEST.