The Game Changer

How a feminist foreign policy could transform societies


No standardised format setting out what a feminist foreign and development policy should contain has yet been agreed, and the differences between existing policies are plenty. However, our interactions over the last eight years with Sweden’s feminist foreign policy have put us in a unique position to identify a number of concepts and approaches that are key to a genuine, and successful, feminist foreign and development policy. When they are applied, the policy can be a powerful tool, capable of transforming lives, changing harmful structures and norms and building inclusive, sustainable and peaceful societies.

For us, a true feminist foreign and development policy is:

  • gender-transformative: always aiming to change unequal power relations and transform discriminatory and harmful norms, practices and structures
  • intersectional: addressing all multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination and oppression
  • grounded in a human rights-based approach
  • about local leadershipdependent on strong global institutional leadership
  • coherently implemented and should guide all policy areas relating to and linked with foreign policy.

Behind this publication are Swedish civil society organisations coordinated within the CONCORD Sweden platform. We hope it will encourage a dialogue between policy makers and civil society, in particular EU policy makers and EU civil society, on how to step up the work on gender equality globally, sparking an interest in and building understanding about feminist foreign and development policy. 

The following organisations and members of CONCORD Sweden gender equality working group have contributed to the development of the publication and its recommendations for their respective areas of expertise:

ACT Church of Sweden

Operation 1325
Plan International Sweden
PRO Global/Pensioners without Borders
the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC)
The Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation

The Swallows India Bangladesh
The Swedish Association for Sexuality Education (RFSU)
The Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society

The Swedish Society for Nature Conservation
We Effect
Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) Sweden.