Feminist Foreign Policy (FFP)

Feminist diplomacy, or feminist foreign policy, calls for a state to promote and practice gender equality and its values, ensuring all women enjoy their human rights, even through diplomatic relations. 

The first Feminist Foreign Policy was released by Sweden in 2014, followed by a few other countries. In this article, we shall discuss at length the significance and a brief background of FFP. Also, the need for India to have a Feminist Foreign Policy has been discussed further below in the article. 

Why is it in the news?

In September 2020, India was elected to the UN Commission on the Status of Women for a four-year term, wherein India has committed to promoting gender equality, development and peace. 

This shall be a big challenge for the country, as India dropped 28 spots as per the Gender Gap Report 2021 released by the World Economic Forum. 

Feminist Foreign Policy [UPSC Notes]:-Download PDF Here

Government and IAS Exam aspirants must carefully go through the information discussed below as both, objective and descriptive type questions can be asked based on this topic in the upcoming competitive exams. 

Refer to the similar topics linked below for UPSC preparation:

What is the Feminist Foreign Policy? – A Brief Background

  • A Feminist Foreign Policy (FFP) is a multidimensional political framework that aims to elevate women’s and marginalised groups’ experiences and agency to scrutinise the destructive forces of patriarchy, colonisation, imperialism, heteronormativity, capitalism, racism, and militarism
  • Sweden was the first country to announce its Feminist Foreign Policy Framework in the year 2014
  • In the year 2016, the Centre for Feminist Foreign Policy (CFFP) was established. It is an international research, advocacy, and consulting organisation to smash the patriarchy in foreign policies and to help adapt an intersectional approach to the foreign policy adopted globally. Read about Foreign Policy in India at the linked article
  • Other countries/states to have adapted Feminist Foreign Policy include:
    • 2017 – Canada announced its Feminist International Assistance Policy
    • 2018 – UK Women’s Equality Party voted to formally adopt FFP
    • 2019 – France, Luxembourg, and Mexico announced their intention to introduce their FFP
    • 2020 – Mexico launched their FFP
  • There are three key principles of feminist perspectives on diplomacy and security on which the Feminist Foreign Policy is based on:
    • Broadening the understanding of security
    • Decoding internal power relations
    • Acknowledging women’s political agency

The international organisation working in the field of empowerment of women and gender equality is UN Women. Get UPSC notes on this United Nations organisation at the linked article. 

UPSC 2021

Significance of Feminist Foreign Policy Globally

  • The main aim of establishing an FFP framework is to incorporate policies and initiatives to not just control war, diplomacy and security, but also to manage and promote women and marginalised groups
  • Sweden mentions that its Feminist Foreign Policy “is an agenda for change to strengthen the rights, representation and resources of all women and girls.” The same approach can be helpful for other countries adopting the policy framework as well
  • FFP framework will help in ensuring that women are treated as equals and they enjoy their human rights within international commitments 

To analyse the importance of women and women-centric organisations in the world, candidates can refer to the Role of International Women Organisations at the linked article. 

Need of Feminist Foreign Policy in India

  • FFP in India will act as a milestone in setting up a framework for equality, common well-being, and peace
  • It will help in modifying the patriarchal roles defined based on gender and also help in restricting the barriers preventing the participation of women and other marginalized groups in India’s decision making
  • Adopting an FFP could offer India an opportunity to create an environment of peace, by eliminating domestic barriers against women, and assisting them in building stronger bilateral relationships
  • India can collaborate with various international, regional, and national civil society organizations to ensure the proper implementation of the FFP framework

Visit Women in Workforce: RSTV- Big Picture to get a gist of the status of working women in India, its social and economic perspective. 

Daily News 2021

Challenges with implementing FFP in India

  • Since ancient times, women in India have majorly been related more to domestic work and to change this stereotypical mindset may be a bit time taking
  • Patriarchal values in India are deeply integrated among a part of the society and to bring in an FFP might pose multiple challenges.
  • With the adaptation of a Feminist Foreign Policy, the focus may not just be on national security matters but also on human rights, equality, human trafficking, etc., which are generally not considered on top priority in terms of diplomatic or foreign policies

Conclusively, adapting the Feminist Foreign Policy shall widen India’s foreign policy perspective. Bilateral relations of India can be made on a wider range of issues and broader diplomatic terms can be signed and maintained. 

Feminist Foreign Policy [UPSC Notes]:-Download PDF Here

FAQ about Feminist Foreign Policy (FFP)

Why India needs a Feminist Foreign Policy (FFP)?

In the Gender Gap Report 2021, released by the World Economic Forum, India’s position slipped 28 spots to rank 140 out of the 156 countries covered. It is indicative of the widening gap in India. India is now elected as a non-permanent member of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and it has committed to focus on peacekeeping, peacebuilding and women’s inclusion. Also, India also became a member of the prestigious UN Commission on the Status of Women in September 2020. These developments show a stronger commitment of India towards the goal of women empowerment. To fulfil these aspirations and commitments regarding women’s inclusion, India should consider adopting a FFP framework.
To read more about the Gender Gap report 2021, check the linked article.

Which countries have their own Feminist Foreign Policy (FFP)?

Sweden (first country to implement FFP framework in 2014), Canada, France, Germany and, Mexico. The countries in North America and Europe are still having conversations regarding the implementation of FFP framework.

IAS aspirants can start their civil services exam preparation by analysing the UPSC Syllabus for the prelims and mains examination and accordingly start their preparation. 

Get the latest exam updates, study material and preparation tips at BYJU’S. 

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