The Government of Canada has completed the first round of consultations to inform Canada’s Feminist Foreign Policy. The goal is to help inform a white paper that will guide Canada’s feminist policy as a whole, in line with the already existing commitments and principles, such as those outlined in Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy (FIAP).
The Feminist Foreign Policy Working Group has collected sector-wide inputs here. Below is Cooperation Canada’s submission in English and French, which has been informed through sector-wide consultations and member feedback. Below are key messages outlining Cooperation Canada’s position in this important process of devising an future oriented, rights-based, and coherent feminist foreign policy.
Canada’s Feminist Foreign Policy must adopt a human-rights based approach that amplifies the voices of feminist actors and marginalized groups in multilateral and bilateral decision-making arenas. Canada should aim for transformative change, which addresses deeply rooted norms and core causes, as informed by local contexts.
Canada’s feminist approach to its global engagement should define leadership through collaboration. Working alongside like-minded peer countries, acting as an enabler and accelerator of local feminist actors is needed for integrated and sustainable approaches.
Canada’s Feminist Foreign policy should entail processes of institutional transformation. This calls for a shift in focus away from prescriptive outcomes and towards more flexible and context—specific structures and processes of Canada’s institutions including Global Affairs Canada, relevant ministries, and Canada’s missions abroad.
Coherence must be a key pillar of Canada’s Feminist Foreign Policy, linking structures and agendas of international trade, diplomacy, defense, and international assistance. Mutually reinforcing strategies must be developed across these areas of intervention to allow for future-oriented and equitable solutions.
Measuring the success of Canada’s Feminist Foreign Policy is needed for a continuously evolving policy that leverages policy learning and builds on the expertise of Canadian civil servants, partners, and communities the policy aims to support. Quantitative benchmarks should be accompanied by qualitative reporting processes that allow for the identification of innovative solutions.