Sweden Should Continue To Pursue ‘Feminist Foreign Policy,’ World Should Follow

Foreign Policy: Sweden’s Feminist Foreign Policy, Long May It Reign
Rachel Vogelstein, Douglas Dillon senior fellow and the director of the Women and Foreign Policy Program at the Council on Foreign Relations, and Alexandra Bro, research associate at the Council on Foreign Relations

“…In 2014, Sweden became the first country in the world to publicly adopt what it explicitly called ‘a feminist foreign policy,’ putting the promotion of gender equality and women’s rights at the center of its diplomatic agenda. This policy consists of three laudable R’s: rights, meaning the promotion of women’s issues, including by countering gender-based violence and discrimination; representation, including support for women’s participation at all levels of decision-making, from parliament to private sector boards to the legal system; and resources, to ensure equitable allocation among people of all genders, whether in government budgets or development projects. … As the next government in Stockholm grapples with negotiations over its new agenda, it should sustain the country’s commitment to advancing gender equality through foreign policy. Doing so will not only strengthen Sweden’s foreign policy but also serve as a model for other countries on how to avoid overlooking the talents and contributions of 50 percent of the population. Even nations like the United States — which is unlikely to adopt an explicitly ‘feminist’ foreign policy under an administration that has overseen retrenchment on women’s rights — are enacting laws to strengthen and enact legislation to ensure that foreign and national security policies incorporate a gender perspective. After decades of exclusion, it is long past time to find out what we stand to gain when women are at the center of international affairs” (1/30).

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