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Feminist Foreign Policy in Times of War: From Policy to Action 

October 13, 2023 by BSC0


The panel under the title “Feminist Foreign Policy in Times of War: From Policy to Action” was moderated by Marie Jelenka Kirchner, Associate Researcher, Institute for Democracy Societas Civilis, Skopje. The panel tackled the topic of feminist foreign policy, its definition, as well as the question of which countries already implemented this view on the global world. 




When asked about the definition of feminist foreign policy from the view of the German approach to it, Serafine Dinkel, Associate Fellow, German Council on Foreign Relations, pointed out that the purpose of the feminist foreign policy was to be a vehicle for the protection of the most vulnerable marginal groups. She connected the feminist movement with security issues and gave examples of attacks on hospitals, sexual violence, and discrimination in occupied zones as instances of the struggle of marginalized groups in times of war. Dinkel defined feminist foreign policy as the redefinition and reflection on the previously set goals, which include holding governments accountable and protecting human rights. She pointed out the miscommunication between the feminist guidelines in the decision-making process and the practical politics of the governments.  



Elena Stavrevska, Lecturer in International Relations, University of Bristol, emphasized that the agenda consisted of 10 resolutions and stood on 4 pillars: participation, protection, prevention, and recovery. She said that national plans had been adopted in the Balkan countries, but raised the question of their purpose. Stavrevska pointed out that the domestic level needed to connect with the global in the context of hypercapitalism and emphasized that if a country had declared feminist foreign policy, it did not mean that it is like that in practice. Feminist foreign policy cannot call itself feminist without fighting the climate crisis, these issues need to be taken together. Different types of experiences, needs, and priorities have to be included not only in Feminist Foreign Policy but in every policy. 



Karolina Leaković, International Secretary of the Social Democratic Party of Croatia, shared her perspective on the approach to feminist foreign policy in the Balkans. She looked back on the feminist movements and feminist approach in politics during the times of the former Yugoslavia, emphasizing that the feminist label was lost after its dissolution and continued to be present only in Slovenia. Leaković pointed out that, once the feminist foreign policy started being created in the Balkans, all the socio-economic aspects of the region and the historical events should be taken into consideration for the policy to be successfully integrated. She stressed the issue of political leaders lacking cooperation regarding regional policy in general, and especially a feminist one.  



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