Voices From Around the Globe. Feminist foreign policy and the role of Women’s Funds

 In Allgemein, Cooperation, Middle and Eastern Europe

What can feminist foreign policy look like in practice? We talked about this at the “Voices From Around The Globe” conference at the Federal Foreign Office in early December with participants from over 40 countries. “Feminist foreign policy is change management,” describes Gesa Bräutigam the approach. She is the ambassador for feminist foreign policy and a human rights officer at the Federal Foreign Office. It is vital to include as many voices and positions as possible when conducting foreign policy negotiations. The aim is to give women, girls and LGBTIQ people access to the three Rs. Those three Rs are equal rights, equal representation, equal resources.

Global challenges need global responses

“We want change” is also what we women’s funds say. But our stance on feminist foreign policy is even more specific. Feminist foreign policy should strengthen grassroots feminist organizations. On the podium Carolyn Boyd-Tomasovic from filia’s sister fund „Ecumenical Women’s Initiative“ puts it in a nutshell: Feminist funding gives power to marginalized groups. Through the financial support of grassroots structures, important projects get off the ground. These include, for example, a mentoring programme for girls in rural Bosnia, a feminist bootcamp for activists in Bulgaria and a Roma student organization in Serbia. “We need global answers to global challenges. It therefore makes sense for women’s funds to join forces internationally to fight against anti-feminism and for the rights of women, girls and LGBTIQ people.”

“Feminist Grassroots in the Western Balkans” impresses with its snowball effect

Together with our partners Ecumanical Women’s Initative, Reconstruction Women’s Fund and Bulgarian Fund for Women, we supported 43 activities as part of the “Feminist Grassroots in the Western Balkans” project funded by the German Federal Foreign Office. The snowball effect is impressive. This is because one grant to filia as an intermediary organization turned into three grants to the sister funds. Those in turn were able to support 43 projects and activities on the ground. Our example shows it quite clearly. Namely, that women’s funds are the best partners for the implementation of feminist foreign policy.

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