Press Releases

Reps. Speier, Lee, and Frankel Introduce Resolution in Support of a Feminist Foreign Policy

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Washington, September 23, 2020 | comments

Today, Co-Chairs of the Democratic Women’s Caucus Congresswomen Jackie Speier (CA-14) and Lois Frankel (FL-21), and Co-Chair of the Pro-Choice Caucus Barbara Lee (CA-13) were joined by 20 Members in introducing a House resolution calling for the adoption of a feminist foreign policy across all areas of foreign policymaking, including foreign assistance and humanitarian response, trade, diplomacy, defense, immigration, funding, and oversight mechanisms.

“…(W)omen’s rights are human rights and foreign policy in the United States should be representative, inclusive, responsive, and accountable to stakeholders, and should take an intersectional approach, utilizing a power-based analysis that reveals, acknowledges, and seeks to correct for inequalities…[and]… feminist foreign policy includes a focus on key thematic priorities of bodily autonomy, peace, environmental integrity and justice, which are often left behind in foreign policy development and discourse,” the resolution states.

Around the world, women and girls continue to face considerable disparities relative to men and boys in their access to rights, resources, agency, and bodily autonomy. As of 2019, women globally had just three-fourths the number of legal rights that men had on average and 35 percent of women globally have experienced gender-based violence. Women are also significantly underrepresented in policymaking and security sector roles: last year, women held only 25.2 percent of parliamentary seats and 21.2 percent of ministerial positions around the world. Despite evidence showing that women’s inclusion in peace processes makes the resulting agreement 35 percent more likely to last 15 years or longer, between 1992 and 2018 women made up only 13 percent of major peace agreement negotiators.

“A feminist approach to foreign policy demands that we reject oppressive policies and elevate tools to promote peace by  prioritizing racial and environmental justice, human rights, and gender equity. Doing so will require a whole of government approach, including a commitment to diversity and gender parity in hiring and promotion in the national security and foreign policy sectors, adoption of zero-tolerance policies toward gender-based violence and workplace harassment, and access to reproductive health care,” said Rep. Speier, Co-Chair of the Democratic Women’s Caucus. “We know that our world is more peaceful and prosperous when women have the tools to succeed and be equal members of society. A feminist foreign policy will bring us closer to that goal.”

“It’s long overdue to rethink US foreign policy to reflect the reality that half the world is female. America needs to promote a foreign policy that reflects, supports and defends the human rights of all people, no matter their gender, race or ethnicity. Adding a feminist lens to our foreign policy would help build a more peaceful, cooperative world that dismantles age-old systems of oppression and gives every human being the chance to thrive,” said Rep. Lee, Co-Chair of the Pro Choice Caucus.

“When girls and women are educated, healthy and safe,  their communities are more secure and more prosperous. To make this a global reality it will take the commitment and efforts of all United States agencies and departments,” said Rep. Frankel, Co-Chair of the Democratic Women’s Caucus.

Endorsing organizations include: Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), NARAL Pro-Choice America, International Center for Research on Women (ICRW), PAI, Plan International USA, Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE), Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO), Freedom Network USA, Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, Advocating Opportunity, Radiant International, Women's Action for New Directions (WAND), Global Justice Center, Guttmacher Institute, Coalition for Feminist Foreign Policy in the United States, International Civil Society Action Network (ICAN), Oxfam America, Cities for CEDAW.



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