Feminist foreign policy
Gender equality is a fundamental aim of Swedish foreign policy. Ensuring that women and girls enjoy fundamental human rights is an obligation within our international commitments and prerequisite to achieving Sweden’s broader foreign policy goals – peace, security and sustainable development.
Feminist foreign policy – for peace, security and sustainable development
The Swedish Government pursues a feminist foreign policy. Sweden established this policy in 2014 after many years of promoting gender equality and human rights nationally and internationally. Sweden's feminist foreign policy is based on the conviction that sustainable peace, security and development can never be achieved if half the world’s population is excluded.
The policy is a response to the discrimination and systematic subordination that still characterises everyday life for countless women and girls all over the world. Feminist foreign policy is an agenda for change to strengthen the rights, representation and resources of all women and girls.
Feminist Trade Policy
There is overwhelming evidence that gender equality boosts economic growth. Despite this, trade policy today benefits men more than women. The Swedish government’s feminist trade policy includes six focus areas where we will step up efforts to ensure that trade policy and trade promotion activities benefit women and men equally.
Women, Peace and Security (WPS)
On 31 October 2000, the United Nations Security Council adopted resolution 1325 on women, peace and security. But far too often, women are still excluded, which poses a threat to peace and security and sustainable development in several parts of the world. Sweden is therefore working actively to promote the agenda for women, peace and security.
Feminist foreign policy
Covid-19 and gender equality
Crises affect women and men in different ways. Already discriminated and marginalised groups and individuals are being hit the hardest. Covid-19 is no exception. Women’s economic situation is disproportionately affected as they are often found in low-wage jobs and in the informal sector as well as oftentimes lacking access to social safety nets. Furthermore, violence against women has increased. There is also a risk of increased maternal and child mortality due to sexual and reproductive health care being crowded out or further limited. Women's rights organisations have also reported on the challenges in participating in political and peace processes. At the same time, opportunities may emerge when communities come together to counter the pandemic.
By pursuing a feminist foreign policy, Sweden consistently works for gender equality and the full enjoyment of human rights by all women and girls.
Handbook on feminist foreign policy
Sweden is the first country in the world to formulate and pursue a feminist foreign policy, and this handbook is the first of its kind. The handbook includes methods and experiences, and is intended as a resource in international work for gender equality and all women’s and girls’ full enjoyment of human rights.
Government communication on the feminist foreign policy
Five years of Sweden’s feminist foreign policy show that it generates results. This is outlined in the Government communication on the policy which was presented by the Government to the Riksdag in September 2019. The feminist foreign policy has, among other things, contributed to support for female members of parliament and entrepreneurs, fewer cases of maternal mortality and unplanned pregnancies, and more resources for gender equality and women’s and girl’s rights. Sweden has also contributed toward mobilising and financing for sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR).
Feminist Trade Policy
Sweden has the first feminist government in the world. This means that gender equality is central to the Government’s priorities – in decision-making and resource allocation. Women and men must have the same power to shape society and their own lives; this is a human right and a matter of democracy and justice. There is also overwhelming evidence that gender equality boosts economic growth. Despite this, trade policy today benefits men more than women.
SEK 1 billion to Government’s first global gender equality strategy
Funds totalling SEK 1 billion will be used to enhance gender equality for women and girls around the world. This was decided by the Government at its meeting on 12 April. It is the first time that Sweden’s Government has adopted a global thematic strategy for gender equality.
A Feminist Government
Sweden has the first feminist government in the world. This means that gender equality is central to the Government’s priorities – in decision-making and resource allocation. A feminist government ensures that a gender equality perspective is brought into policy-making on a broad front, both nationally and internationally. Women and men must have the same power to shape society and their own lives. This is a human right and a matter of democracy and justice. Gender equality is also part of the solution to society’s challenges and a matter of course in a modern welfare state – for justice and economic development. The Government’s most important tool for implementing feminist policy is gender mainstreaming, of which gender-responsive budgeting is an important component.
Sweden is mustering its forces to increase gender equality on the internet through #WikiGap
WikiGap is an initiative to increase women’s representation on the internet. A gender-equal internet contributes to a gender-equal world.
Content about Feminist foreign policy
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This year marks the 20th anniversary of Resolution 1325. Sweden strengthens its support for UN peacebuilding efforts and women’s participation
This month we commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Women, Peace and Security agenda. Within the global response to the covid-19 pandemic, Sweden has decided to contribute an additional 75 million Swedish kronor to sustaining peace efforts, within which women’s meaningful participation is a key component.
Speech by Prime Minister Stefan Löfven at the High-level meeting on Beijing+25
Speech by Prime Minister Stefan Löfven to commomorate the 25th Anniversary of the Beijing Platform for Action. Check against delivery.
Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Gender Equality attend meeting on international gender equality work in the wake of COVID-19
Some 70 participants from civil society organisations, the social partners and government agencies took part in a digital meeting on 26 August hosted by Minister for Foreign Affairs Ann Linde and Minister for Gender Equality Åsa Lindhagen. Discussions covered the international coalition to work for financial gender equality, of which Sweden is one of the leaders, and international gender equality work in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sweden, South Africa, Mexico, Spain and Germany discussed economic gender equality and engagement in a global coalition
On 2 July, Minister for Foreign Affairs Ann Linde invited minister colleagues and government representatives from South Africa, Mexico, Spain and Germany to discuss economic gender equality. These countries, together with representatives of civil society, international organisations and private funds, will lead a global coalition on economic gender equality to accelerate results for global gender equality. Here are the key messages from the meeting:
Ann Linde and Åsa Lindhagen to participate in Global Pride
The virtual Global Pride festival kicks off on 27 June. Artists, politicians and activists from around the world will take part in the 26-hour livestream event.
Ministers: Global cooperation should be strengthened
Opinion piece by Minister for Foreign Affairs Ann Linde, Minister for International Development Cooperation Peter Eriksson and Minister for Foreign Trade and Nordic Affairs Anna Hallberg. Published in Svenska Dagbladet on 20 April 2020.
Folke Bernadotte Academy tasked with establishing a scholarship in memory of Zaida Catalán to support UN Security Council resolution 1325
The Government decided on 12 March to task the Folke Bernadotte Academy with initiating the preparatory work to establish a scholarship aimed at supporting UN Security Council resolution 1325 on women, peace and security in 2021. The scholarship will be established in memory of Zaida Catalán, who had served abroad for the Folke Bernadotte Academy as a gender expert.
Strategy for Sweden’s support for democracy, human rights and the environment in Russia 2020–2024
On 30 January 2020, the Government adopted a new five-year strategy for Sweden’s support for democracy, human rights and the environment in Russia. The strategy will contribute to strengthened conditions for democratic development in Russia, and greater freedom of expression and respect for human rights and the rule of law. Activities within the framework of the strategy will also contribute to improving the environment and enhancing climate action in the Baltic Sea region. A key objective is broader relations between Sweden and Russia, focusing in particular on people-to-people cooperation.
WikiGap makes internet more gender equal
In connection with International Women’s Day on 8 March, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs is conducting a worldwide campaign for the third year in a row to make the internet more equal. In parallel, edit-a-thons aimed at increasing the number of women on Wikipedia will be held in almost 30 countries. In Sweden, a WikiGap edit-a-thon will be held at the University of Gothenburg.
Ann Linde presents the 2020 Statement of Foreign Policy
Today, Minister for Foreign Affairs Ann Linde is presenting the Government’s Statement of Foreign Policy to the Riksdag. The Statement, which summarises the Government’s foreign policy priorities for 2020, includes a new announcement on strengthened efforts to combat organised crime. Also notable in the Statement is a stronger focus on security in Europe ahead of Sweden assuming the role of Chair of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe in 2021.