In October 2014, Sweden became the first country in the world to launch a feminist foreign policy. This means applying a systematic gender equality perspective throughout the whole foreign policy agenda. Now, the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs has launched a handbook for Sweden’s feminist foreign policy.
The handbook is a resource for international work relating to gender equality and all women’s and girls’ full enjoyment of human rights. It contains a selection of methods and experiences that can provide examples and inspiration for the future work of the Swedish Foreign Service, other parts of the civil service and society as a whole. The handbook also describes the first four years of working with a feminist foreign policy. Thereby, it responds to the considerable national and international interest in this policy.
“Throughout the world, women are neglected in terms of resources, representation and rights. This is the simple reason why we are pursuing a feminist foreign policy – with full force, all around the world”, says Minister for Foreign Affairs Margot Wallström.
The policy is crucial in the work at the embassies:
“The fact that Sweden has gone from gender equality to feminism is definitely something new, and can successfully be used exactly in this way in the work of the embassy. It has long been well known that Sweden champions gender equality issues, and we still do so – but now in the company of many other like-minded nations. However, having a feminist foreign policy clearly marks us out. With it, we demonstrate an ability to see bigger contexts, with political courage and a desire to lead”, says one of the Swedish diplomats working in the field.
You can find the handbook as a pdf file on the web.