Feminist Diplomacy Shifts Mindset ‘Away from Confrontation, towards Dialogue, Engagement, Cooperation, Peace’, Underlines Deputy Secretary-General

Following are UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed’s remarks at the ministerial-level side event on feminist foreign policy as an accelerator for positive change by transforming commitments into actions, in New York today:

It is a pleasure to join you today.  Feminist foreign policy is a powerful approach to put women’s rights and perspectives at the heart of diplomacy, for the benefit of all.

Feminist diplomacy is essential to end the most pervasive inequality in our world.  But feminist diplomacy is also effective diplomacy that calls for a shift of mindset away from confrontation and towards dialogue, engagement, cooperation and peace.  This shift is more important than ever in today’s world of interlinked challenges.

Member States reaffirmed in the Sustainable Development Goals Summit political declaration on Monday that gender equality is integral to achieving the 2030 Agenda.  And with the Sustainable Development Goals seriously off-track, accelerated action on gender equality — including through feminist foreign policies — is non-negotiable. At the current pace of progress, achieving equality under the law for women remains a distant goal.

Feminist foreign policies can help to prevent these projections from becoming a reality.  They encompass the equal and meaningful participation of women in all areas and prioritizing gender when allocating and spending resources.

A feminist foreign policy is a commitment to drive peace, security and development for all.  And it can make a difference, from diplomacy to defence, to security cooperation, aid, trade and finance.

We are here today to discuss how we can go further and faster with feminist foreign policies.

Allow me to share two suggestions.

First, networking and collaboration across sectors.

Everyone’s voices must be heard in our global village.  Civil society, grassroots organizations, farmers, feminist organizations, scholars, the scientific community and more.  Invite women in; listen to them; understand their priorities.  A feminist foreign policy must be rooted in the interests and concerns of women.

Second, accountability, anchored in data.

Strong data systems can provide evidence to overturn assumptions based on gender bias, as we strive to leave no one behind.  Innovative use of data is exposing gender bias in all kinds of new areas, from seatbelt safety to safe dosages of medication.  We need to make the most of statistical tools.

You do not need to be a woman to practice feminist foreign policy.  But it helps.

When just one ambassador in five is a woman, we need to make the most of opportunities like this to share lessons learned and innovative ideas.  I thank everyone for being here, and I look forward to hearing your views and experiences.

For information media. Not an official record.