Feminist Foreign Policy: a Fine Line Between “Adding Women” and Pursuing a Feminist Agenda

Authored by: Journal of International Affairs Editorial Board

Categories: The Field of Women, Peace and Security
Sub-Categories: Security Sector Reform (SSR)
Year: 2019
Citation: Scheyer, Victoria, and Marina Kumskova. "FEMINIST FOREIGN POLICY: A FINE LINE BETWEEN “ADDING WOMEN” AND PURSUING A FEMINIST AGENDA." Journal of International Affairs 72, no. 2 (2019): 57-76. Accessed January 15, 2020.

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The proliferation of feminist foreign policies has become a sign of commitment to another world order. Governments that adopt such action envision a world where women’s rights are equally important to those of men. They commit to empowering women and ensuring their meaningful participation across various issues. Such commitments, therefore, are understood as the objectives of a feminist foreign policy. This article explains that, while a commitment to women’s rights is important, the current practices of purportedly feminist foreign policies do not reflect an authentically feminist approach. We look into the theoretical background of feminist analysis in international relations, propose criteria for a feminist foreign policy based on feminist theory, and use these criteria to analyze and conduct gap analysis of existing feminist foreign policies. Overall, this study helps unpack the definition of feminist foreign policy and highlight areas that can be addressed by those willing to commit to redefining security and peace in the current world order.