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Feminist Foreign Policy Jumpstart

To reboot the world, we need to change the way we make policies.

This is as urgent as ever, as we face escalating crises, around the world and right here in the US. Right-wing authoritarians are on the rise. These forces seek to enact policies that threaten lives: gutting climate regulations, attacking migrants, launching new military attacks.

Women are leading the resistance. They are holding the line against assaults on rights, dignity and a century of progressive policy gains. They are developing effective solutions to some of the world’s most intractable challenges – climate change, war, and gender violence.  Their vision of feminist futures – of a just, peaceful and sustainable world – has mobilized a new wave of progressive organizing and power.

Yet there remains one critical arena that still sorely lacks a gender analysis or feminist perspective: US foreign policy.

That's why MADRE is launching an initiative to bring global women’s voices and solutions to progressive policymaking in the US.

We want US policymakers to champion gender justice and human rights in foreign affairs. We want to build avenues for activists and organizations, locally and globally, to engage with progressive political leaders.

Leveraging our 35 years of working with women in more than 50 countries, MADRE will advance a feminist foreign policy agenda developed in partnership with grassroots women worldwide. We'll create the space for progressive policymakers to hear directly from women whose communities are impacted by US policies and who offer solutions to some of the most urgent crises of our time. We know that when we listen to women and girls at the grassroots, we can create policies that are better for everyone.

Woman leading a group in conversation
This initiative will focus on three priority areas:
  • offering a global gender justice perspective on the Green New Deal;
  • advancing the voices of women peacebuilders on the frontlines of war to bring lasting peace and stability;
  • and confronting the crisis of gender violence against migrant women.

“We are launching this initiative because this is a vital moment for us to act. US foreign policy is in need of a new guiding ethic. To achieve a truly progressive, transformative foreign policy – one that upholds human rights and protects the planet – we need women’s leadership. Grassroots women worldwide have deep knowledge about the impacts of US policies on their communities and solutions to some of the defining crises of our time, from peacebuilding to climate justice and beyond. This initiative opens new channels of engagement between these local leaders and US policymakers.

“By embracing the potentials of feminist foreign policy, progressive policymakers gain even more than avenues to protect women’s rights worldwide, as vital as that is. They also gain experts with valuable perspectives in the work to counter the global rise of right-wing authoritarianism: grassroots women working to confront militarism, environmental destruction, economic exploitation, political repression and more.”

- Yifat Susskind, MADRE Executive Director

Here’s the change we’ll make:
  • We’ll advance a foreign policy agenda deeply rooted in feminist values
  • We’ll build ties between progressive foreign and domestic policy
  • We’ll generate increased attention in the media and public discourse on gender justice and progressive foreign policy
  • We’ll strengthen progressive movements and policy protections for women and families worldwide

Woman speaking on a microphone with a solidarity fist up