Germany’s centre-left government on Wednesday announced new feminist guidelines to shape its diplomacy and development work including the creation of a new role for an “ambassador for feminist foreign policy”.
Germany will lobby to ensure women’s concerns are more in focus worldwide, that women are better represented and that the country’s generous development funds are allocated more to projects that tackle gender inequality, according to the guidelines.
Given Germany’s clout as Europe’s biggest economy and a key diplomatic actor, the move gives fresh momentum to the feminist foreign policy movement, which was pioneered by a leftist Swedish government in 2014.
Such a policy has been embraced in recent years by other countries like Canada, France, Mexico and Spain – although Sweden abandoned it last year after a shift to a right-wing government.
“We will work hard to give our foreign service a more female face and to raise the proportion of women in senior roles,” Germany’s first female foreign minister, Annalena Baerbock, said in the introduction to the 88-page long feminist foreign policy guidelines. Just 26% of German ambassadors are currently female.
“We will also more systematically allocate our financial resources in the service of feminist foreign policy,” the Greens politician said.
Baerbock has already made a point on her trips abroad to address gender issues such as sexual violence during the conflict in Ukraine and abortion in the United States.