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Reps. Frankel, Lee, Kamlager-Dove Celebrate International Women’s Day with Introduction of Feminist Foreign Policy Resolution
Washington, March 8, 2023
Tags: Foreign Affairs
Washington, DC – Today, Representatives Lois Frankel (FL-22), Chair of the Democratic Women’s Caucus, Barbara Lee (CA-12), Ranking Member of the State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Subcommittee, and Sydney Kamlager-Dove (CA-37) were joined by 41 Members to introduce a resolution calling for the United States to adopt a feminist foreign policy. This resolution calls for gender equality to be a core consideration of foreign policy decision making, including on issues related to foreign assistance, humanitarian response, trade, diplomacy, defense, and immigration. The Members introduced this resolution on International Women’s Day, which celebrates the achievements of women around the world and underscores the work of creating a more inclusive and equitable society.
Women and girls make up half of the world’s population, yet they face considerable disparities relative to their male counterparts. As of 2022, the average woman had three-quarters of the legal rights as a man, and nearly one-in-three women were subjected to gender-based-violence around the world. This problem is further exacerbated by the fact that there are so few women in policymaking and security settings. As of 2022, women held only 22.9 percent of parliamentary seats and 16.1 percent of ministerial positions and make up only 8 percent of military contingents.
“When women and girls are healthy, educated, and safe, their families and communities are more likely to thrive,” said Rep. Frankel. “We know that the world is more peaceful and prosperous when women have the tools to succeed and operate as equal members in their societies. A feminist foreign policy is critical to getting us closer to that reality.”
“American foreign policy should reflect the world we live in, a world where half of the population is female. As age-old systems of oppression are still very much present, adding a feminist lens to our foreign policy would bring about a more peaceful world and work to dismantle those systems,” said Ranking Member Lee. “It will take a commitment to racial justice, gender equity, and prioritizing human rights over greed and individualism for humanity to prosper. I’m excited about the opportunity this legislation presents for a fresh perspective in our foreign policy.”
“I am proud to join Representatives Lee and Frankel in committing to advance gender equality,” Rep. Kamlager-Dove said. “Women must have a seat at the table when foreign policy decisions are being made. An equitable world cannot exist without the womanist perspective. When we view the world through a lens that includes all women, we allow ourselves to see the whole picture, beyond the traditional, patriarchal framework, enabling us to move one step closer toward true equality.”
“This International Women’s Day, we’re thrilled to see the introduction of this bill, which calls for the U.S. to adopt a feminist foreign policy,” said Lyric Thompson of the Coalition for a Feminist Foreign Policy in the United States, “This legislation is not only long overdue, but critical to creating a just, equitable, sustainable and peaceful world. Let’s join both of our neighbors and the growing number of countries from Luxembourg to Liberia who are making foreign policy feminist.” The Coalition is a group of over 80 civil society organizations advocating for the United States to adopt a feminist approach in its foreign policy.
The Feminist Foreign Policy resolution would make the United States the eleventh country to adopt such an approach, joining Canada, Chile, Colombia, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, Spain, and Sweden. Specifically, this resolution:
- Supports the adoption of policies that promote gender equity and women and girls’ participation in public life, including education, health care, economic opportunity, and participation in public office, peacekeeping, military, and diplomatic missions.
- Calls for a whole of government approach which includes a commitment to diversity and gender parity in hiring and promoting, adoption of zero-tolerance policies toward gender-based violence and workplace harassment, access to reproductive health care, incorporation of gender analyses as a part of foreign policy decision making; and,
The Feminist Foreign Policy resolution has been endorsed by Feminist Foreign Policy Collaborative, International Center for Research on Women (ICRW), Council for Global Equality, Foreign Policy Interrupted, Fòs Feminista, Global Fund for Women, Global Justice Center, Heartland Alliance International, Interruptrr, NARAL Pro-Choice America, The Hunger Project, Women Graduates USA, Plan International, Equimundo, the Centre for Feminist Foreign Policy (CFFP), International Civil Society Action Network (ICAN), and Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
The bill’s original cosponsors include Representatives Barragán (CA-44), Bonamici (OR-01), Bowman (NY-16), Cárdenas (C-29), Castro (TX-29), Cherfilus-McCormick (FL-20), Chu (CA-28), Cicilline (RI-01), Clarke (NY-09), Crockett (TX-30) Dean (PA-04), Eschoo (CA-16) García (IL-04), Grijalva (AZ-07), Jackson Lee (TX-18), Jayapal (WA-07), Johnson (GA-04), Keating (MA-09), Khanna (CA-17), Kuster (NH-02) McCollum (MN-04), McGovern (MA-02), Meng (NY-06), Nadler (NY-12), Norton (DC-Del), Omar (MN-05), Porter (CA-47), Pressley (MA-07), Sánchez (CA-38), Schakowsky (IL-09), Sherman (CA-32), Stevens (MI-11), Titus (NV-01), Tlaib (MI-12), Tokuda (HI-02), Torres (CA-35), Vargas (CA-52), Velázquez (NY-07), Wasserman Schultz (FL-25), Watson Coleman (NJ-12), Williams (GA-05).
Full text of the resolution can be found here.