Feminist Foreign Policy or FFP promotes the values and good practices toward achieving gender equality. As we all know, or should accept and learn to love and support, are the guarantees for all women to enjoy and bask in their human rights. There are a few countries that recently embraced the flag of feminine freedom.
Yet for the development of the feminist perspective and activism, FFP in practice has more ground to cover. From diverse voices of numerous ethnicities, origins, backgrounds, orientations, and more, all viewpoints matter concerning the proper representation of women and girls globally.
A current debate facing FFP is an agreed-upon definition, which varies from country to country. It is an understandable truth that action becomes stagnant, progress still, when a solution such as FFP fails to hold a consistent definition across global borders. Among the debate of an agreed definition, feminist foreign policy flaws are being acknowledged.
- The term ‘feminism’ is polarizing, rather than empowering.
This is an interesting perspective, and unfortunately, I can see why this can be true. Feminism is meant to be an ideology, a tool, and a practice for liberation. It has become an iconic term, and trending phrase that at times in its societal surge, carries little weight and drifts far from the shore of its original and grounded purpose. The definition of feminism can vary across perspectives and opinions as well.
- Feminism foreign policy does not fulling account for intersectionality.
In a TED talk I had recently watched the topic of police brutality for African American women was spoken about. It pushed me to realize how limiting, frustrating, and rigid government, and society continue to be in acknowledging intersectionality. Issues consist of complex dimensions, variables, and dynamics of power. And to propose the more obvious but irrationally ignored question of policy accounting for vulnerable and marginalized groups. Hmm… you tell me.
- FFP does not address domestic policies, which leaves a sickly and gaping wound of hypocrisy within government attempts at forming policy.
What should consist within Feminist Foreign Policy, or “FFP2.0” are five principles included in Eirliani Abdul Rahman and Jesse Bump’s article Feminist Foreign Policy Needs an Upgrade, published on September 29, 2022.
1. FFP2.0 should be positioned within a human rights framework, based on existing UN instruments such as UN Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace, and Security, and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.
2. It should be intersectional, as defined by Kimberlé Crenshaw, and inclusive.
“The study of overlapping or intersecting social identities and related systems of oppression, domination, or discrimination.”
3. It should be transformative, meaning it should disrupt power inequities and redress historical injustice, and shift power relations and social norms within and between countries.
4. All stakeholders must have an agency, not be viewed as victims or bystanders, and be meaningfully engaged with substantive representation.
5. Context is essential – avoid universalizing. Fairness requires attention to inequities of history, structure, society, and power. FFP2.0 must be informed by ongoing learning and full accountability.
Beautifully constructed, I should say. Addressing accountability, agency, transformation, and intersectionality are required to vanquish stagnation. May we all make haste and make the world a better place.
Rahman, A., & Bump, J. (2022, September 28). The world Today – August & September 2022. Chatham House – International Affairs Think Tank. Retrieved October 8, 2022, from https://www.chathamhouse.org/publications/the-world-today/2022-08
Izard, C., Stark, K., Trentacosta, C., & Schultz, D. (2008). Beyond emotion regulation: Emotion utilization and adaptive functioning. Child Development Perspectives, 2(3), 156–163. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1750-8606.2008.00058.x