Feminist Foreign Policy and Multilateralism


The increase in the number of member states declaring that they have a Feminist Foreign Policy (FFP) can be seen as an opportunity to advance feminist principles through multilateral engagement. However, FFPs are created and implemented primarily in national institutions and within member states—therefore, there is little guidance on what an FFP means for engaging with multilateral institutions like the United Nations (UN). The Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Program at the International Peace Institute (IPI) is seeking to fill this gap and understand how member states with FFPs can integrate feminist principles in their engagement with civil society and multilateral spaces.

In 2023, IPI hosted a retreat on “Feminist Foreign Policy and Multilateralism” in collaboration with the “Feminist Foreign Policy Plus” group (FFP+ group). This retreat set the stage for future collaboration and discussions around the ways in which feminist foreign policies can be used as a tool for transformation within the UN and other multilateral fora. Namely, feedback from the retreat underscored the need—and demand—for greater connection, open dialogue, and knowledge sharing between member states and civil society on FFP, not only as a singular issue, but as it intersects with other spheres of policy such as climate action, disarmament, and development. IPI thus seeks to leverage its convening power and strategic position within New York to facilitate bridge-building and engagement around feminist foreign policy and multilateralism.

IPI’s work on FFP has been made possible by the Open Society Foundation (2023-2024) and Heinrich Boell Foundation (current).

Most Recent

From New York to Mexico City: Reconciling Institutional Challenges and Grassroots Demands for Women’s Rights and Feminist Foreign and Development Policy

IPI’s Phoebe Donnelly and Evyn Papworth share their assessment of the current challenges in the field and how they hope that the CSW and the FPS can influence the upcoming FFP Summit in Mexico City in July 2024. Read the full interview>>

Advancing Feminist Foreign Policy in the Multilateral System: Key Debates and Challenges

Since the first feminist foreign policy (FFP) was adopted by Sweden in 2014, sixteen countries have either published an FFP or announced their intention to do so. Some proponents of FFPs have indicated that these policies can be a way to democratize and transform multilateralism, integrating feminist approaches and principles into multilateral institutions and leading to more inclusive and equitable outcomes. Read more>>