June 12, 2023 #ChileDemocratic

Five Keys to Feminist Foreign Policy

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At the current rate of progress, achieving gender equality would take approximately 300 years, according to the latest report by UN Women and the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA). Against this backdrop, Chile has decided to act and joined the limited list of countries that have a Feminist Foreign Policy (FFP).

These are the five keys to understanding the PEF and its importance for the country and the world.

1. First South American country to implement a Feminist Foreign Policy

Chile becomes the first South American country to have a Feminist Foreign Policy, together with Sweden, Canada, France, Luxembourg, Spain and Mexico. Sweden was the pioneer and in 2014 adopted this measure with the objective of adding the gender perspective as a fundamental basis for the effective fulfillment of the country's interests.

This policy reinforces the principles of democracy and the defense of human rights and seeks to establish the principle of gender equality and non-discrimination as a guiding principle in Chile's foreign policy.

2. Promotes participation, inclusion, mainstreaming and an intersectional approach.

The PEF is participatory, as it aims to open spaces for all stakeholders in its design and implementation; it is inclusive, as it seeks to ensure that its benefits reach everyone, both in the political and commercial spheres; it is cross-cutting, as it promotes coordinated action in all areas of the work of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; and it is intersectional, as it recognizes that inequality is not only structural, but is also shaped by the superimposition of various factors.

3. Review of the institutional structure and culture

The declaration of a Feminist Foreign Policy aims to promote coordinated foreign action with a gender perspective in various spaces, forums and mechanisms related to the advancement of gender equality.

But it also has an internal dimension that has to do with institutional structure and culture. In this regard, a review of regulations, processes and protocols, among other organizational instruments, will be carried out in order to accelerate the implementation of the necessary changes to reduce gender gaps. Along these lines, the presence of women in embassies will be increased: in 2021 there were 14 women in charge of Chilean embassies and missions abroad, and by February 2023 there were already 27.

In order to provide continuity and consolidate a policy aimed at greater participation of women in decision-making spaces, the creation of an Advisory Committee of Experts will be proposed to present to the authorities a strategy to advance parity by 2030.

4. Chile is a pioneer in providing an inclusive approach to foreign trade policy.

We were the first country in the world to incorporate gender and trade chapters in several of the free trade agreements that Chile has signed with other countries, seeking to open up opportunities to increase the participation of women in international trade. Thus, the PEF will strengthen this area, allowing for greater availability of data with a gender perspective, the possibility of sharing experiences in the development of co-responsibility policies and others that contribute to gender equality, and dialogue in international organizations, among others.

In 2016, Chile included the first chapter on these matters in a bilateral trade agreement by signing such instrument with Uruguay, which was later joined by those signed with Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, Paraguay and, recently, with the European Union.

Chile - together with New Zealand and Canada - was among the first to sign an international instrument dedicated to gender and trade issues, called the Global Gender and Trade Agreement.

5. Monitoring and evaluation mechanisms

One of the most important points is to have follow-up and evaluation mechanisms in place, so that the objectives and goals set can be measured over time and thus eventually improved. According to the experience of other countries, there are no follow-up mechanisms and it is particularly difficult to ensure that the policy is not diluted over time.

Therefore, in order to have clear goals, deadlines, indicators and responsibilities, the Gender Affairs Division will be created to articulate the efforts that already existed in the Foreign Ministry and to consolidate and strengthen them, so that they do not depend on changes in authority. A web page with all the information, explanatory capsules and articulated follow-up mechanisms is also available.






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