How to make feminist foreign policy work?

Programme editor
Jamila Aanzi
In cooperation with
More than one year ago the Dutch government has announced to start a feminist foreign policy following a growing number of states including Canada, Germany and Mexico. But how is this working out so far? And what is needed for a meaningful and impactful foreign feminist policy that truly addresses root causes of inequality and exclusion?

What can a feminist foreign policy entail? The foreign ministry of The Netherlands has been supporting activities and programmes that promote women’s rights, gender equality, sexual rights and reproductive health. One of these programmes is She Leads, a collaboration of various NGOs, that aims to support and equip young girls to drive change in East Africa, West Africa and the Middle East.

Some people are wary of the power relation between the global North and global South that can impact – negatively or positively – the promises of this approach. What is the future of a feminist foreign policy? And how to move beyond the ‘add women and stir’ and actually address the root causes of inequality and exclusion?

About She Leads

She Leads is a joint programme from Plan International, Defence for Children, African Women’s Development and Communication Network (FEMNET), and Terre des Hommes, with Equal Measures 2030 as technical partner and in strategic partnership with the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs under the Power of Voices framework. The consortium aims to support and equip girls and young women to drive change in nine countries in East Africa, West Africa, and the Middle East, with the ultimate goal of transforming prevailing gender norms.


Caroline Boraya Coordinator She Leads in Kenia
Hawanatu Mansaray Coordinator She Leads in Sierra Leone
Laila Ait BaaliDirector WO=MEN
Peter Derrek HofAmbassador Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
Lucy HallLecturer and researcher (UvA) on International Relations, Security Studies and Feminist Theory
Joyce Brummelman Plan International

© Ilvy Njiokiktjien/ Plan International