Swedish Foreign Service action plan for feminist foreign policy 2015–2018 including focus areas for 2017

This action plan sets the direction of feminist foreign policy action to be taken by the Foreign Service, guided by six long-term objectives. These are broad objectives to match broad challenges, cover the entire global agenda and bring the whole gamut of foreign policy tools into play.

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More people are living better lives than ever before. But gender equality is still a vision, not a reality.

Sweden's feminist government wants to make this vision a reality. Gender equality is a goal in itself. But it is also essential for the achievement of the Government's other overall objectives, such as peace, security and sustainable development.

This is why gender equality and human rights efforts must continue unabated. But we are also going one step further.

Sweden is the first country in the world to pursue a feminist foreign policy.

Just over twenty years after the World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995, the commitments

are far from being fulfilled. Countless women and girls still experience a blatant lack of rights, representation and resources.

Feminist foreign policy will help to achieve concrete results that enhance both gender equality and the full enjoyment of human rights by all women and girls.

This will be done by implementing systematic gender mainstreaming, based on knowledge and analysis, throughout the foreign policy agenda, not least in peace and security efforts.

This action plan sets the direction of feminist foreign policy action to be taken by the Swedish Foreign

Service, guided by six long-term objectives. These are broad objectives to match broad challenges, cover the entire global agenda and bring the whole gamut of foreign policy tools into play. This will enable the Foreign Service to promote the full enjoyment of human rights by all women and girls, including by combating all forms of violence and discrimination that restrict their freedom of action.

The plan specifies approaches, starting points, tools and actors. It also notes the importance of

involving men and boys in the process of advancing gender equality.

The action plan is part of the Foreign Service operational plan, which means that it is updated and

followed up every year. In this way we will facilitate the implementation and ensure results in foreign, security, development, and trade and promotion policy, as well as in the achievement of the sustainable development goals. This annual follow-up will enable us to learn from experience and new data, benefit from ongoing consultations, and cast light on more challenges.

In 2017, there will be a special focus on strengthening the human rights of women and girls who are refugees or migrants, working towards non-discriminatory legislation in the economic area,

and combating violence in close relations. The potential of women and girls as actors will also be highlighted within the framework of conflict prevention and efforts to combat the shrinking democratic space. The Foreign Service will continue to be a driving force for sexual and reproductive health and rights and in 2017 intensify efforts to guarantee the sexual and reproductive rights of all people. In addition to this, work on the focus areas for 2016 will continue, as will other processes that contribute to the overarching objectives. Moreover, an objective for the Foreign Service's internal work on supporting and manifesting the feminist foreign policy will be incorporated.

By applying this broader, deeper and more systematic approach, feminist foreign policy will develop to achieve results that strengthen the rights, representation and resources of all women and girls.