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Feminist 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. With the inauguration of the Biden-Harris administration, a new terrain of possibilities opens up for us. President Biden has shown a willingness to respond to some of the urgent calls that progressive organizers have made for years — from ending Trump’s Muslim travel ban to blocking the catastrophic Keystone pipeline.

Yet, the work ahead will be hard. We need to repair the harms of the last four years of the Trump administration’s attacks on the rights of women, LGBTQ+ communities, immigrants, and people of color, both in the US and around the world. These abuses have compounded decades of failed US policies of war, militarism, and climate inaction.

Grassroots feminists worldwide are leading the way. 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.

Together, we’ll push for a foreign policy rooted in care and repair for the harms of the past. This is the moment to push forward unapologetically. To advance progressive, feminist priorities. To center women, girls, Black and Indigenous communities, and people of color-led movements in policymaking.

That's why MADRE created an initiative to bring global women’s voices and solutions to progressive policymaking in the US: the Feminist Policy Jumpstart.

We want US policymakers to champion gender justice and human rights across domestic and 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, the Jumpstart advances a feminist policy agenda developed in partnership with grassroots women worldwide. We 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

Graphic: Care-based policies to confront COVID-19Right now is a moment of opportunity for feminist, progressive policy rooted in care.

MADRE is putting forth a plan to address the pandemic with a feminist lens.

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This initiative focuses on three priority areas:
  • offering a global gender justice perspective on climate policy, including the Green New Deal;
  • advancing the voices of women peacebuilders on the frontlines of war to bring lasting peace and stability;
  • and advancing feminist economic justice policies rooted in an ethic of care.
Women stand beside a humanitarian aid transport vehicle.

A Feminist Foreign Policy for Yemen: Women’s Leadership towards Inclusive Peace

In Yemen, the COVID-19 pandemic now adds another layer of devastation for communities affected by war, hunger, and poverty.  As frontline responders and drivers of long-term peace, women should be at the heart of efforts to advance a sustainable peace in Yemen. Here are our policy recommendations for peacebuilding as a key response to the pandemic in Yemen.

(August 2020)

Members of the February convening

Statement for a Feminist Foreign Policy to Confront the Coronavirus Pandemic

In February 2020, MADRE, Women Cross DMZ, and Grassroots Global Justice Alliance convened a group of 23 women and gender nonconforming people from across the US to engage in a cross-movement dialogue on our collective work against militarism and war in order to examine, challenge, and reimagine US foreign policy. This statement represents the beginning of a larger conversation to redefine our sense of “national security” using the framework of a feminist foreign policy for peace and justice.

(April 2020)

A Global COVID-19 Response

As the COVID-19 pandemic triggered an unprecedented public health crisis and economic breakdown worldwide, the US Congress proposed and passed several pieces of legislation to address the crisis. The following analyses spotlight how COVID-19-related legislation and economic relief packages can advance an approach rooted in care and global justice:

  1. Robust International Response to the Pandemic Act (H.R. 6581)
  2. COVID-19 International Response and Recovery Act (“CIRRA”) (S. 3669)
  3. COVID-19 Stimulus Packages

(July 2020)

Here’s the change we make:
  • We advance a policy agenda deeply rooted in feminist values
  • We build ties between progressive foreign and domestic policy
  • We generate increased attention in the media and public discourse on gender justice and progressive policy
  • We strengthen progressive movements and policy protections for women and families worldwide
Graphic featuring the headshots of Rep. Deb Haaland, Yasso Bhattachan, Janene Yazzie, Martha Ntoipo and Yifat Susskind. The text reads: Indigenous Women Lead: Charing a Just Recovery from the Pandemic

Indigenous Women Lead - Charting a Just Recovery from the Pandemic

In July 2020, MADRE brought together Indigenous women leaders from the United States, Nepal and Tanzania — Congresswoman Deb Haaland (NM-1), Janene Yazzie of Sixth World Solutions, Yasso Bhattachan of National Indigenous Women Forum (NIWF), Nepal, and Martha Ntoipo of the Pastoralist Information Development Organization (PIDO), Tanzania. The event focused on Indigenous women’s transformative and intersectional visions that must be at the center of a just recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

Muna Luqman walks alongside Yifat Susskind, executive director of MADRE, and Akhila Kolisetty, MADRE's policy and campaign's manager.

Women Bring Peace in Yemen

The war in Yemen, fueled by US military support for the Saudi-led coalition, has unleashed a humanitarian disaster. Women and girls—who have been disproportionately impacted by the conflict—hold vital solutions and must play a meaningful role in the peacebuilding process.

To push for solutions to this crisis, we brought our partner Muna Luqman—the Founder of Food4Humanity in Yemen—to speak with policymakers in Washington, DC about a just and feminist US policy towards Yemen.

Purple graphic image featuring speakers for an event titled: Resilience and a Just Recovery Through a Feminist Green New Deal

Resilience and a Just Recovery Through a Feminist Green New Deal

As we faced an intersection of crises — the global pandemic, climate breakdown, and an economic crisis — MADRE joined the Women’s March and the Feminist Green New Deal coalition on a webinar in April 2020 for a conversation about our vision and organizing towards a just recovery through feminist, care-centered, regenerative solutions and transformation.