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Where next for feminist foreign policy on humanitarian response?

Briefing/policy paper

Written by Megan Daigle

Image credit:Jessica Rennoldson/ODI

Humanitarian action is a sub-sector of foreign policy that has received comparatively little attention in feminist foreign policy debates to date. How, then, can states that have feminist foreign policies – or that are inspired by feminist ambitions – meaningfully apply feminist approaches to humanitarian action?

While more than a dozen governments have announced feminist foreign policies (FFPs) since 2014, in some cases like Canada and France these have been circumscribed to limited areas of foreign policy and especially aid spending. Humanitarian response is both present and absent in this agenda – that is, most written FFPs explicitly apply to humanitarian response, but few have engaged meaningfully with tensions around what feminism means for humanitarian response or how to implement it effectively.