Feminist Foreign Policy

The Government of Canada is developing a feminist foreign policy. What does a feminist approach to foreign policy mean to you? What actions can Canada take in the next two years to implement its feminist foreign policy? In late 2020, the Feminist Foreign Policy Working Group solicited responses to these questions in a series of webinars, and through written and video submissions, which are posted below. The government of Canada hopes to launch its feminist foreign policy in the first half of 2021.

The Feminist Foreign Policy Working Group contributed three reports to the policy-making process:

  1. Discussion Paper on Feminist Foreign Policy   (français)
  2. What We Heard:  Feedback from discussions on Canada’s feminist foreign policy   (français)
  3. Be Brave, Be Bold: Recommendations for Canada’s feminist foreign policy   (français)

What is feminist foreign policy?

In 2014 Sweden made history by announcing that it would follow a feminist foreign policy. Since then several other governments have followed suit including Canada, Mexico, Luxembourg, and France.

Canada launched its Feminist International Assistance Policy (FIAP) in June 2017. Officials have said on numerous occasions that Canada has a feminist foreign policy and that key components are the Feminist International Assistance Policy; the Women, Peace and Security National Action Plan; the ‘progressive’ trade agenda; and the Defence Policy (Strong, Secure, Engaged). But to date, there has not been a policy document outlining Canada’s feminist foreign policy principles, approach, and commitments.

There is much debate and discussion internationally around what a feminist foreign policy should or could include, just as there are many definitions of feminism. The time is right for a Canadian articulation of this important policy.

In February 2020, Minister of Foreign Affairs François-Philippe Champagne announced that he would work with civil society to launch a white paper on Canada’s feminist foreign policy by the end of the year. Civil society organizations applauded this announcement and have been looking forward to contributing to the development of the white paper.

Who are we?

The Feminist Foreign Policy Working Group includes: Above Ground, Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights, Amnesty International Canada, The Equality Fund, Equitas, Inter Pares, Mines Action Canada, Oxfam Canada, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, and Women, Peace and Security Network Canada.

Written Submissions

  1. Accessibility For All
  2. Allison Lau
  3. AQOCI
  4. Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  5. Canadian Coalition for Youth, Peace and Security (English)
  6. Canadian Coalition for Youth, Peace and Security (French)
  7. Canadian Federation of University Women
  8. Canadian Pugwash Group
  9. CanWaCH
  10. Canadian Voice of Women for Peace
  11. Centre for International and Defence Policy, Queen’s University
  12. Coady Institute, St. Francis Xavier University
  13. Coalition for Equitable Land Acquisitions and Development in Africa
  14. Cooperation Canada (English)
  15. Cooperation Canada (French)
  16. Développement international Desjardins
  17. Dignity Network Canada
  18. Diversity Institute, Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University
  19. Djenana Jalovcic
  20. Digital Opportunity Trust
  21. Equality Fund
  22. Equal Measures 2030
  23. Global Centre for Pluralism
  24. Group of 78
  25. IM Defensoras
  26. IMPACT
  27. Institute for International Women’s Rights – Manitoba
  28. IPPNW-Canada and Rotarians to Prevent Nuclear War
  29. Katherine Daly
  30. Myra Kohler
  31. Oxfam Canada and Oxfam-Québec
  32. Paul Maillet Center for Ethics and Peace Services
  33. Rae Acheson
  34. Rainbow Railroad
  36. Sue Godt
  37. WILPF-Canada

Video Submissions

  1. Canadian Coalition for Youth, Peace and Security (English)
  2. Canadian Coalition for Youth, Peace and Security (French)
  3. Global Centre for Pluralism
  4. Institute for International Women’s Rights – Manitoba
  5. Ontario Council for International Cooperation