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In June 2017, the Liberal government launched its first Feminist International Assistance Policy, setting a course for an ambitious agenda for the promotion of gender equality and women’s empowerment. A renewed commitment to human rights and gender equality became evident in the early days of the Trudeau government with a series of events that placed gender equality at the center of national and international commitments. This chapter traces the numerous steps toward a feminist foreign policy between 2015 and 2017, with attention to how this strategy diverges from previous Canadian governments. Civil society organization (CSO) reactions to these early promises of improved gender equality programming are examined, particularly in relation to peace and security efforts abroad. Feminist international relations and foreign policy scholarships have long argued for a feminist foreign policy. In this chapter, the contributions of this feminist scholarship are analyzed in relation to the discursive, rhetorical, and feminist policy commitments observed to date.
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For full interview, see Trudeau and Mlambo-Ngcuka ( 2016).
For full statement, see Trudeau ( 2017b).
For full statement, see Trudeau ( 2017a).
National Defence ( 2017, 55).
To read the full Feminist International Assistance Policy, see Government of Canada ( 2017).
Zilio ( 2017).
To read the full article, see Canadian Press ( 2017).
Laverdière ( 2017).
See Global Affairs Canada ( 2017), official news release on redirecting existing development funding to sexual and reproductive health here.
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For a deeper discussion, see Smith ( 2017).
Canadian Council for International Cooperation ( 2017, 2).
For full report, see Global Affairs Canada ( 2016).
Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development ( 2013).
An indication of the inconsistent application of UNSCR 1325+ is evident in UN member countries’ NAPs, which vary greatly in quality between countries. Some NAPs are 14 page “highly generalist” documents, while others are more comprehensive documents consisting of 80+ pages of text. They also vary greatly in regard to the level of engagement and integration of civil society; proposed financing mechanisms; and plans on monitoring, reporting, and feedback processes (Fritz et al. 2011, 5–6). Many NAPs, such as Canada’s, have been criticized for consisting of “loose promised and vague reporting.” (Tiessen and Tuckey 2014, 14).
Cohn ( 2004, 2), Willett ( 2010). Cohn et al. ( 2004, 135), draw attention to a similar frustration with the human security agenda. They argue that a rhetorical commitment to “human security” in the UN will not translate into changed priorities and practices without a member state network devoted to raising the issue again and again, and infusing it throughout the institution of the UN. There is a clear parallel to UNSCR 1325.
Such as the 2005 Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness, the Millennium Development Goals, and the Sustainable Development Goals.
Cohn et al. ( 2004).
Turenne-Sjolander et al. ( 2003).
Smith and Turenne-Sjolander ( 2012).
For a discussion on indigenous communities, see Chap. 11 Smith ( 2017).
Butler ( 2017).
Stienstra ( 2017).
Smith ( 2017).
Petrasek and Tiessen ( 2016).
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For an in-depth reflection of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development (the Committee) report, An opportunity for global leadership: Canada and the women, peace and security agenda by WPSN-C, see WPSNCANADA ( 2016).
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- Canada’s Feminist Foreign Policy Promises: An Ambitious Agenda for Gender Equality, Human Rights, Peace, and Security
- Chapter 10
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