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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

Building an Inclusive, Sustainable Peace in Colombia with Women’s Leadership

MADRE, together with our partners, urge US leaders to implement a progressive US-Colombia policy. We call for a rejection of harmful US policies, including the so-called “war on drugs” and military assistance, and towards support for implementation of Colombia's peace agreement. We also urge the US to push for a meaningful role in the peace process for Afro-Colombian and Indigenous women who hold solutions for a lasting peace.

Woman speaking into a microphone

How Women Lead Us to Peace: Ensuring Women’s Participation in Peacebuilding

Women are severely underrepresented in peace processes globally. While US law and policy mandates resources and support for women’s participation, the reality is much different. MADRE put forward a set of policy recommendations to ensure that women are leaders at the negotiating table, that their efforts to bring peace are supported and funded, and that US policy works to proactively prevent conflict before it starts.

Woman organizer within a crowd

US Complicity in Yemen’s War and the Impact on Women and Girls

The war in Yemen, fueled by US military support for the Saudi-led coalition, has escalated the humanitarian crisis. The US has been complicit in civilian deaths caused by airstrikes, in pushing the country to the brink of famine and in devastating the health system. Women and girls have been disproportionately impacted, from malnutrition to rising rates of gender violence and child marriage. But in the midst of this crisis, women mobilize for peace and deliver vital humanitarian aid.

Yemeni women stand beside the humanitarian aid packages dropped off in their community

Repealing the AUMF

For 18 years, a destructive post-9/11 policy has been used as a “blank check” for unjust US wars worldwide: the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF). From bombings in Afghanistan and Syria to detentions in Guantanamo Bay, the 2001 AUMF has served as a political cover for endless US war. And recently, the Trump administration has invoked the doctrine to justify a possible war with Iran.

MADRE's policy brief details the damage wrought by this destructive policy on women and communities worldwide. It calls for the AUMF's repeal, for a rejection of militarism, and for support for women peacebuilders on the frontlines of war.

Cover for resource text. Woman holds her fist up while speaking in microphone. Text Reads: Repealing the Authorization for Use of Military Force

Key Questions to Shape a Feminist Green New Deal

All around us, we see the signs of climate breakdown, and frontline communities are already facing its worst dangers. We must seize the potential of the current moment to build a more just, peaceful, and sustainable world. A feminist analysis offers us the opportunity to advance a Green New Deal and climate policy that centers gender and global justice, human rights, and the leadership and solutions of frontline communities. Here are six key questions we must ask to secure a feminist and global Green New Deal.

MADRE staff beside coalition partners for Feminist Green New Deal launch in DC.