Sweden’s Feminist Foreign Policy: Implications for Humanitarian Response

The government of Sweden has announced that a feminist perspective will be applied to all aspects of Sweden’s foreign policy, including in the area of humanitarian aid and development cooperation.

Sweden’s feminist foreign policy strives to counter gender inequalities, including in terms of the ability to exercise influence. The stated goal is not only to come to terms with structures that are unjust to women, but also to promote peace, stability and sustainable economic development through a more balanced approach to foreign policy.

The purpose of this policy brief is to outline the implications of Sweden’s overall feminist foreign policy for the people they strive to assist, Sweden’s own humanitarian policy operations, and more broadly the whole humanitarian community, with a focus on gender equality and strengthening the rights and empowerment of women and girls in humanitarian crises.

Indeed there are positive implications for the humanitarian community as a whole from Sweden adopting a feminist approach to humanitarian aid. Additionally, as Sweden is already one of the leading governments promoting gender issues in humanitarian and development aid response, it is well placed to serve as a catalyst for others to assume feminist approaches to humanitarian response.

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