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Feminist Foreign Policy

Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in Canada’s ‘Feminist’ International Assistance

Citation:

Aylward, Erin, and Stephen Brown. 2020. “Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in Canada’s ‘Feminist’ International Assistance.” International Journal: Canada’s Journal of Global Policy Analysis 75 (3): 313–28.

Authors: Erin Aylward, Stephen Brown

Abstract:

Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy (FIAP), launched in June 2017, marks the first time that sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) have been mentioned in an overarching Canadian aid policy. The inclusion of SOGI in the policy document sent an important signal to domestic and international development partners on the need to consider these sources of discrimination and marginalization. This article asks two basic research questions. First, what is the place of SOGI in Canada’s “feminist” international assistance? Second, what additional steps does Canada’s development program need to take to protect the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) people in the Global South? Based on an analysis of official documents and secondary sources, we argue that FIAP itself sends only a weak signal about the importance of SOGI-related concerns, but Canadian foreign aid has expanded its understanding of LGBTI issues and has begun to commit dedicated resources to addressing them. Nonetheless, the initial programming (2017–2019) was channelled in an ad hoc manner and through one, major stand-alone commitment, rather than through a broader framework that would guide SOGI’s integration into Canadian programs over the long term. If serious about addressing LGBTI rights more systematically, the Canadian government needs to expand its definition of what SOGI entails and move beyond niche programming to recognize the cross cutting dimension of LGBTI rights in foreign aid, especially in the area of sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Keywords: foreign aid, sexual orientation, gender identity, LGBTI, Canada, feminism

Topics: Development, Feminisms, Feminist Foreign Policy, Gender, Health, Reproductive Health, LGBTQ, Rights, Reproductive Rights, Sexuality Regions: Americas, North America Countries: Canada

Year: 2020

Built on Shaky Ground: Reflections on Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy

Citation:

Cadesky, Jessica. 2020. “Built on Shaky Ground: Reflections on Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy.” International Journal: Canada’s Journal of Global Policy Analysis 75 (3): 298–312.

Author: Jessica Cadesky

Abstract:

In October 2017, Canada launched its Feminist International Assistance Policy (FIAP). While Canada’s explicit use of the words “feminist” and “feminism” may be refreshing, critical questions on the FIAP’s interpretation and application of these concepts remain. These challenges are not unique to the FIAP. Rather, the central weaknesses of the FIAP can be seen as symptomatic of several endemic challenges that persist in the current policies and practices that seek to promote gender equality in the developing world and beyond. This article presents the theoretical and conceptual lineage that has informed the FIAP, drawing from challenges present within literature on security, gender equality, and gender mainstreaming. Three main shortcomings relevant to both the literature and the FIAP are explored: first, the assumptions and essentialization of “gender” to mean “women”; second, the frequent conflation of “gender equality” with “women’s empowerment”; and last, the paradox of gender, gender equality, and feminism being simultaneously overpoliticized and depoliticized to suit prevailing policy environments, with particular implications for the global coronavirus pandemic, as well as impacts in fragile and conflict-affected states. This analysis sheds light on persistent challenges in feminist foreign policymaking and offers insights for the development of Canada’s White Paper on feminist foreign policy.

Keywords: feminist foreign assistance policy, gender equality, women, empowernment, discourse, fragile and conflict-affected states, COVID-19

Topics: Feminisms, Feminist Foreign Policy, Gender, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Security Regions: Americas, North America Countries: Canada

Year: 2020

Which Feminism(s)? For Whom? Intersectionality in Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy

Citation:

Morton, Sam E., Judyannet Muchiri, and Liam Swiss. 2020. “Which Feminism(s)? For Whom? Intersectionality in Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy.” International Journal: Canada’s Journal of Global Policy Analysis 75 (3): 329–48.

Authors: Sam E. Morton, Judyannet Muchiri, Liam Swiss

Abstract:

The Government of Canada introduced its new Feminist International Assistance Policy (FIAP) to guide its foreign aid programming in June 2017. This feminist turn mirrors earlier adoptions of feminist aid and foreign policy by Sweden and echoes the current Canadian government’s feminist rhetoric. This paper examines the FIAP and its Action Areas Policies to ask what kind(s) of feminism are reflected in the policy and what groups of people it prioritizes. The paper examines the values, goals, and gaps of the policy in order to understand what feminist values and goals are being operationalized and pursued and what gaps and contradictions exist. By examining the FIAP’s Action Area Policies using a discourse network analysis of the groups represented in the policies, we demonstrate the failings of the FIAP to incorporate an intersectional approach. Our results show that the FIAP adopts a mainstream liberal feminism that excludes many peoples and groups from the core of Canada’s aid efforts.

Keywords: foreign aid, feminism, feminist foreign policy, Canada

Topics: Feminisms, Feminist Foreign Policy, Intersectionality Regions: Americas, North America Countries: Canada

Year: 2020

Canada’s Feminist Foreign Policy and Human Security Compared

Citation:

Smith, Heather, and Tari Ajadi. 2020. “Canada’s Feminist Foreign Policy and Human Security Compared.” International Journal: Canada’s Journal of Global Policy Analysis 75 (3): 367–82.

Authors: Heather Smith, Tari Ajadi

Abstract:

Canadian federal governments regularly try to craft a unique image of Canada in the world; however, the Trudeau government’s embrace of feminist foreign policy feels strikingly similar to the late 1990s when human security was embraced. There seems to be a “sameness” in the promotion of a progressive values-based discourse that has transformative potential for Canadian foreign policy. The question is, does this sense of sameness bear out when we dig into the comparison? Drawing on speeches given by government ministers; policy documents, such as the Feminist International Assistance Policy (FIAP); media; and scholarship, we compare and contrast analyses of the sources of the human security and feminist foreign policy discourses and then identify common critiques. We also examine two significant differences. We find there is consistent Liberal articulation of values-based discourses and policies that have unmet transformative potential. In both cases, style and rhetoric are privileged over transformative change.

Keywords: human security, feminist, Canadian foreign policy, feminist foreign policy, gender

Topics: Feminist Foreign Policy, Gender, Security, Human Security Regions: Americas, North America Countries: Canada

Year: 2020

Pro-Gender Foreign Policy by Stealth: Navigating Global and Domestic Politics in Australian Foreign Policy Making

Citation:

Lee-Koo, Katrina. 2020. "Pro-Gender Foreign Policy by Stealth: Navigating Global and Domestic Politics in Australian Foreign Policy Making." Foreign Policy Analysis 16 (2): 236-49.

Author: Katrina Lee-Koo

Abstract:

As a middle-power nation, Australia promotes its global effectiveness, in part, through the adoption of international norms. Among those that it has more recently embraced has been pro-gender norms. The inclusion—for the first time—of gender equality considerations into overarching strategic doctrines, and the development of stand-alone gender strategies demonstrates this. While this is not without its shortcomings and contradictions, it is evidence that Australia is allowing feminist design to underpin areas of its foreign policy. However, unlike other states, this is not publicly emphasized. In fact, it is as if these policies were developed by stealth. This article examines the depth of Australia’s commitment to pro-gender norms in foreign policy. It argues that there is a genuine embrace of progender norms, but the masculinist cultures of Australia’s politics limit the capacity for it to be publicly debated and celebrated.

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Feminist Foreign Policy, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Masculinism Regions: Oceania Countries: Australia

Year: 2020

Swedish Feminist Foreign Policy and “Gender Cosmopolitanism”

Citation:

Rosamond, Annika Bergman. 2020. "Swedish Feminist Foreign Policy and “Gender Cosmopolitanism.” Foreign Policy Analysis 16 (2): 217-35.

Author: Annika Bergman Rosamond

Abstract:

Gender justice and equality have risen to prominence in the constitution of foreign and security policy. This article locates the analysis of feminist foreign policy (FFP) within the wider context of Sweden’s state feminist tradition as well as its pursuit of “gender cosmopolitanism” in global politics. Both “gender cosmopolitanism” and Sweden’s state feminist tradition provided fertile ground for the formal adoption of FFP in 2014. The article employs poststructural discursive techniques that enable the identification of the statist feminist and cosmopolitan foundations of feminist foreign policy. More specifically, the article provides a discursive analysis of the ethical and feminist ambitions, normative contents, and pitfalls of FFP. Though FFP is grounded in other-regarding cosmopolitan care for vulnerable women and girls beyond borders, it exhibits a range of pitfalls and inconsistencies, such as equating gender with women and, at times, privileging results-oriented strategies over thoroughgoing gender analysis of structural injustices such as gendered violence. The article ends with a discussion of Sweden’s attempts to translate the feminist and cosmopolitan contents of FFP commitments into policy practice, with a focus on the eradication of gender-based violence.

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Women, Girls, Gender Analysis, Gender-Based Violence, Feminist Foreign Policy, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality Regions: Europe, Nordic states, Northern Europe Countries: Sweden

Year: 2020

Pro-Gender Norms in Norwegian Peace Engagement: Balancing Experiences, Values, and Interests

Citation:

Skjelsbæk, Inger, and Torunn Lise Tryggestad. 2020. "Pro-Gender Norms in Norwegian Peace Engagement: Balancing Experiences, Values, and Interests." Foreign Policy Analysis 16 (2): 181-98.

Authors: Inger Skjelsbæk, Torunn Lise Tryggestad

Abstract:

The national self-image of Norway is as a gender-equal and peace-promoting nation. Norwegian gender equality policies grew out of a strong social and political civil society engagement from below combined with equal rights laws as well as quota systems implemented from above by the state. In this paper, we explore the intersection of pro-gender norms and peace engagement in Norwegian foreign policy. While gender mainstreaming has been on the agenda of Norwegian development cooperation for decades, the introduction of pro gender norms in peace engagement is a more recent phenomenon. How are gender equality norms and concerns understood and promoted by Norwegian peace facilitators in practice. And how are pro-gender experiences, values, and norms balanced in Norwegian peace engagement?

Topics: Gender, Feminist Foreign Policy, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Peace Processes Regions: Europe, Nordic states, Northern Europe Countries: Norway

Year: 2020

Canada's New Feminist International Assistance Policy: Business as Usual?

Citation:

Parisi, Laura. 2020. "Canada's New Feminist International Assistance Policy: Business as Usual?" Foreign Policy Analysis 16 (2): 163-80.

Author: Laura Parisi

Abstract:

This paper asks to what extent does Canada's new Feminist International Assistance Policy (FIAP) represent a more transformational and intersectional approach to gender equality and neoliberal international development? In other words, what is “new” about Canada's international development policy when it comes to gender equality and women's empowerment? Through a critical examination of the discourses of economic development in the FIAP on poverty, trade, market citizenship, and the private sector, I argue that the FIAP embodies both neoliberal feminism as well as feminist neoliberalism, which limit the transformational potential and impact of the FIAP on gender and international development strategies.

Topics: Development, Economies, Poverty, Feminisms, Feminist Foreign Policy, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Intersectionality Regions: Americas, North America Countries: Canada

Year: 2020

Pro-Gender Foreign Policy by Stealth: Navigating Global and Domestic Politics in Australian Foreign Policy Making

Citation:

Lee-Koo, Katrina. 2020. “Pro-Gender Foreign Policy by Stealth: Navigating Global and Domestic Politics in Australian Foreign Policy Making.” Foreign Policy Analysis 16 (3): 236–49

Author: Katrina Lee-Koo

Abstract:

As a middle-power nation, Australia promotes its global effectiveness, in part, through the adoption of international norms. Among those that it has more recently embraced has been pro-gender norms. The inclusion— for the first time—of gender equality considerations into overarching strategic doctrines, and the development of stand-alone gender strategies demonstrates this. While this is not without its shortcomings and contradictions, it is evidence that Australia is allowing feminist design to underpin areas of its foreign policy. However, unlike other states, this is not publicly emphasized. In fact, it is as if these policies were developed by stealth. This article examines the depth of Australia’s commitment to pro-gender norms in foreign policy. It argues that there is a genuine embrace of progender norms, but the masculinist cultures of Australia’s politics limit the capacity for it to be publicly debated and celebrated.

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Feminist Foreign Policy, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Masculinism Regions: Oceania Countries: Australia

Year: 2020

Swedish Feminist Foreign Policy and “Gender Cosmopolitanism”

Citation:

Rosamond, Annika Bergman. 2020. “Swedish Feminist Foreign Policy and ‘Gender Cosmopolitanism.’” Foreign Policy Analysis 16 (2): 217–35.

Author: Annika Bergman Rosamond

Abstract:

Gender justice and equality have risen to prominence in the constitution of foreign and security policy. This article locates the analysis of feminist foreign policy (FFP) within the wider context of Sweden’s state feminist tradition as well as its pursuit of “gender cosmopolitanism” in global politics. Both “gender cosmopolitanism” and Sweden’s state feminist tradition provided fertile ground for the formal adoption of FFP in 2014. The article employs poststructural discursive techniques that enable the identification of the statist feminist and cosmopolitan foundations of feminist foreign policy. More specifically, the article provides a discursive analysis of the ethical and feminist ambitions, normative contents, and pitfalls of FFP. Though FFP is grounded in other-regarding cosmopolitan care for vulnerable women and girls beyond borders, it exhibits a range of pitfalls and inconsistencies, such as equating gender with women and, at times, privileging results-oriented strategies over thoroughgoing gender analysis of structural injustices such as gendered violence. The article ends with a discussion of Sweden’s attempts to translate the feminist and cosmopolitan contents of FFP commitments into policy practice, with a focus on the eradication of gender-based violence.

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Gender-Based Violence, Feminist Foreign Policy, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality Regions: Europe, Nordic states, Northern Europe Countries: Sweden

Year: 2020

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