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07. September 2022 - News

What is medica mondiale calling for as feminist foreign policy?

In its coalition agreement, the new German government committed itself to a feminist foreign policy, which medica mondiale emphatically welcomes. On September 12, 2022, the Foreign Office is hosting an international conference in order to consult with political and civil society partners on how this type of feminist policy should be shaped. medica mondiale will be participating in these discussions and has formulated specific demands in advance.

Two police officers walk by the german foreign office

No sustainable peace without gender justice

“The renewed seizing of power by the Taliban, the war in Ukraine and the crisis in the Balkans all clearly show us that peace cannot be sustained without gender justice,”

declares Jeannette Böhme, Advocacy and Human Rights Officer at medica mondiale. In all these regions there has been an increase in violence against women and girls. Böhme continues:

“For this reason we finally need policies which tackle the causes of patriarchal violence.”

A feminist foreign policy would offer a chance of this.

Together with 17 non-governmental organisations who all take an intersectional feminist approach to their work, we asked: What would a feminist foreign policy look like for Germany? What would have to change, structurally and substantively, for the country’s foreign policy to be feminist not just in name? Our answers can be found in a joint statement of position.

Overcoming patriarchal violence

It is clear to us that a feminist foreign policy means much more than just supporting women! It would mean a strictly human rights-based orientation for foreign policy, aiming for security for humans rather than nations. And it would include the target of overcoming patriarchal gender relations.

This requires coherent feminist policies at home and abroad – including policies governing disarmament, climate and trade. Only in this way can the German government maintain credibility and its feminist foreign policy be successful.

Combatting anti-feminism

It is extremely worrying to observe the worldwide strengthening of ideologies and movements opposed to feminism. There has been an increase in the number of attacks on women’s rights and feminists, including women’s rights defenders. A consistent opposition to these developments also needs to be a core element of feminist foreign policy.

Tangible results needed at the conference

We have been campaigning for decades for a foreign policy based on women’s rights, self-determination and peace. The conference on September 12, 2022, offers an opportunity to talk about practical measures that can be taken to implement a feminist foreign policy. As an expert organisation, medica mondiale has been requested to contribute to a workshop by explaining how those affected by sexualised violence can be better protected, and how their perspectives can be integrated into the concepts and measures of a feminist foreign policy. We eagerly await the results of the conference.