Need a perfect paper? Place your first order and save 5% with this code:   SAVE5NOW

Canada’s Feminist Foreign Policy

Foreign Policy is a plan by a country and its involvement with other nations while trying to solve international challenges. Feminist Foreign Policy seeks to better the status of girls and women by serving the interest of gender equality through eliminating poverty and investing in quality education to create a more prosperous world. The stake held in the Feminist Foreign Scheme is in line with Canada’s national plan; to attain a thriving, harmonious, solid, and comprehensive state. Since 1931 Canada has been active and serious about its Foreign Policy involvement. Over the years, Canada continued to involve itself in many international policy discussions, with some leaving Canada criticized. The decisions made by the Canadian government seek to maintain its economic status and a sense of equality across the international board. Government officials have continuously explained that its no-show in ally-related issues is because of strategy differences. However, it is essential to note that Canada is seriously involved in making and serving the interests of its international allies and has been active in training its citizens on the importance of global participation because it gives them worldwide respect and honor.

In the wake of an internationally active world, severe diplomatic issues are increasingly growing on many borders worldwide. However, Canada has maintained its commitment to ensuring better lives for its citizens and support in the global community. Due to the international crisis, several policies are being drafted, the most recent being the Feminist Foreign Policy. Many global organizations have recently encouraged countries to pick up the Feminist Foreign Policy. In its zeal to improve the world, Canada interestingly assumed the plan in 2017.


The prime minister introduced the Feminist Foreign Scheme in Canada in 2017 by its prime minister, joining the international evolution of gender balance and seeking the growth of ladies economically and having equal space socially. Before this, Canada had been in the spotlight, with scholars accusing the government of not implementing the speeches they were delivering on international platforms about gender equality.[1] The Canadian Feminist Foreign Policy aims to achieve an open and comprehensive society, allowing people to participate in political, economic, social, and cultural involvement regardless of gender. Canada has been celebrated as one of the two countries that had fully assumed a Feminist Foreign Policy. The plan is centered on the principle that all people are the same and require equal opportunities that can propel communities into achieving sustainable peace.[2] Feminist Foreign Scheme in Canada is inclined under the office of Global Affairs, whose mission is to explain, form, and promote Canadian interests on the international platform. The Feminist Foreign Plan has been endorsed following the ethical challenges that have thrived from gender imbalances, which have soon constituted gender violence and negligence of the female gender.[3] To solve the gender inequality problem, the Canadian government is interested in addressing injustices, including race, religion, sex, gender, physical or mental orientation, and immigration status.

The Feminist Foreign Policy is primarily substantiated as an essential point of focus in helping the world achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.[4] In every Foreign Policy, theories best explain its enactment and intended purposes.

Foreign Policy, which falls under International Relations, attracts a heated debate regarding theories that best explain their existence. As scholarly works continue to be written to answer the question of the current world occurrences due to globalization and advancement in technology, the traditional theories of Foreign Policy and International relations have been maintained. These theories include constructivism, feminism, liberalism, neo-Marxism, and realism. The feminism theory best explains the idea of Feminist Foreign Policy.

Feminism Theory

Mostly related to Mary Wollstonecraft’s scholarly work in the west, Feminism theory seeks the regulation of power bestowed or declined in line with an individual’s gender type. Feminism proponents seek to improve the social status of women in society and raise the political presence of women in a politically active community. The prominent challenge women have been facing in the modern world has been gender-based violence. Some states have been exposed for normalizing the violation of women’s rights.[5]Feminists argue that gender should not be considered neutral in any foreign policy and that men and women do not impact each other. It is not wrong to consider women at the decision-making table in Canada.

As theorists argue, the notion of neutrality has been drawn from traditional practices in a more masculine globe where men were the sole decision-makers, taking up the political space and being the sole opinion shapers. In the contemporary world, it is essential to point out that thriving nations have embraced the advancement of a gender-equalized state. This has been made much easier and is clearly explained by the feminism theory.[6] The feminism theory seeks to advance the feminism agenda in governmental structures of a state, which is meant to improve the state where both women and men share opportunities. With time, the world shall achieve gender equality.

The feminism theory extends its reach into sexual outlooks, race, and economic class. The theory holds that for a nation to thrive, there is a need to have equal opportunities for both genders. Sociologists who have had input in the advocacy of gender equality have also called upon women to be mindful of their sexual status and protect their position by leading noble lifestyles to gain enough leverage as they anticipate gender equality independence.[7] Canada has been careful enough to counter the anticipated equality struggles predicted in 2013 and whose time seems to have come. The struggle might later worsen the situation of injustices against a particular gender by raising the bar a little higher in a quest to balance response to the interests of women. The following are some characteristics of the feminism theory that indicate its presence in the issue of the Feminist Foreign Plan in Canada:

  • Gender is of interest and, in this case, the female gender.
  • Gender issues are gradual and require gradual solutions as well.
  • Gender-neutrality is a core problem.
  • Feminism is focused on global change.

It is arguably true that, through the Canadian Feminist Foreign Policy, the female gender is the entity of interest and that all values therein favor the female gender. This is boldly explained in the feminism theory, which broadly advocates for changes touching on women. However, the values encompassed in the Feminist Foreign Policy are not a bias toward men. As explained by the Feminist theory, the advocacy seeks to empower women with opportunities that men already have but have been denied to women.[8] Secondly, this theory explains that gender issues should not be treated with neutrality and make it evident that all genders are equal or all genders face the same problem. From this understanding, the Canadian Prime minister appointed female ministers for both foreign and development ministries. Some members of the international community were surprised by the Prime minister’s move, with others celebrating him. The applause from the global society indicates that females have not been getting opportunities they ought to have been getting before due to gender bias. On the other hand, feminists have actively contributed to building an efficient Feminist Foreign Policy. Arguing along the lines of the never-ending evolution of the Global Policy interests, feminists have been loud to suggest a sustainable and one-time policy change. From the Canadian feminist activist’s view, the government needs to diversify its approach to Feminist Foreign Policy and not only focus on empowerment.[9] This indicates a policy draft influenced by the feminism theory.

Thirdly, the Canadian government illustrates a characteristic of the feminism theory, which states that gender issues are gradual and require gradual solutions. Gender issues cannot be solved by an instant policy review or new law. Instead, by gradually addressing the inadequacy as problems come up. For example, after the prime minister of Canada installed two women as superior ministers, that did not solve the injustice of every woman across the country. After including the Feminist Foreign Policy into their operations, the government advocated for a rise in the quota of women serving in its defense force and a review of women’s economic status to boost their employment rates. By doing so, Canada will have a matched level of equality between men and women in the future, thanks to the gradual strategy to propel them to such an achievement.

Finally, in its transformative nature, Canada’s Feminist Foreign Scheme adheres to the feminism theory by accepting that women can be a tool for global change. Feminism theory suggests that feminism is advocacy for global change.[10] Lightly translating to an insinuation that if women are accorded the same opportunities as men, the world would have a turn-around for the better. While addressing the importance of a Feminist Foreign Policy, the Canadian government believes that if poverty is eradicated, girls and women are accorded quality education and gender equality, which would thrive the world a better place.

Key Sources Driving the Canadian Feminist Foreign Policy

Being observant of the speech by the Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister before the Montreal Council in 2020, one can denote some of the critical factors that influenced the integration of the Feminist Foreign Policy. She addresses the council to explain the nation’s steps to maintain an all-inclusive and firm Feminist Foreign Policy. The following are some of the factors leading to the adoption of the Feminist Foreign Policy:

  • Gender Activism
  • Globalization
  • Climate Action
  • United Nations Women, Peace, and Security program (WPS)
  • United Nations policy on women empowerment

Gender Activism

Women have pronounced suffering compared to men in society. As of 2009, there was a growing fuss on how the Canadian government was actualizing its claims towards gender equality, with civil activists calling for immediate action towards the actualization of gender policies. [11] The world has been facing significant and unending activism on many fronts, with one of the powerful beings on gender equality. With the 30th anniversary of the 16-day activism against gender-based violence being held in 2021, Canada continues to receive pressure on how it has been tackling the growing gender-based violence cases. The grown activism has pushed Canada to assume a severe response to the place of women in society today. The creation of Feminist Foreign Policy in 2017 was one of the most excellent moves to stabilize the growing activism across Canada and the international arena. Female activists worldwide continue to fight for gender equality, a ‘war’ that has been termed as dangerous to the stability of the globe. Activism has been led through media and advertisement, which have been used widely to call people to action. The pressure has been kept high, making sure the government reacts positively and shows its support for and duty to safeguard its citizens and foreign agenda of unity.

Climate Action

Climate change has been the greatest fear of the continent in the modern world. It is a situation that has forced states to come together in a trial to find solutions that can neutralize this natural calamity threatening human existence. The international community in this quest has come up with a framework called ‘climate action.’ In the question of climate action, the United Nations advocates for increased involvement of women in the plan. Many believe that women are better in conservative engagements and that women are also efficient in helping achieve sustained food security if equal resources to those of men are given to them. According to the UN, if all small-scale farming women would receive the same production resources, they would manage to gain a farming yield that would sustain up to 150 million people living with hunger translating to a 30 percent food production increase. High food production will later ultimately end the continued state of deforestation. Climate action has created a source of influence on governments to pick up the idea of women’s involvement and gender equality. Therefore, in its plan to see a thriving world, the Canadian government, through its Feminist Foreign Policy, is encouraging women’s empowerment by involving them in policymaking to eradicate poverty and global climate woes.


Globalization extensively refers to the increasing independence of the world’s cultures, populations, and economies. In the same aspect, globalization has affected people’s views on gender and, more so, gender equality. Globalization has been propelled by the wake of technology and the phase of the internet, which is primarily the most appreciated form of communication in the world today. Border relations have been virtually brought closer, with international agendas receiving attention and input from across the globe, however much they are meant for a single country. Through this, the world has become a global village. An excellent example of the globalization effect is the international commemoration of the Montreal massacre of 1989, which saw 185 countries hold a dedication moment on 6th December 2019 and have continued to do that ever since using their online media platforms. Such events on the new media platforms have pushed nations to review their policies. A move that Canada has embraced in its Feminist Foreign Policy.

United Nations Women, Peace and Security program (WPS)

There has been a call from the United Nations to its member states to adopt a global framework for its WPS program. Nations that are proactive in maintaining a high profile of international support have been quick to heed this call, Canada not being left out. The WPS agenda is focused on improving the status of women in society by ensuring security for women in conflicted nations on the gender equality front. The WPS agenda has been a vital factor influencing the adoption of a Feminist Foreign Policy in Canada. From the UN forces of mediation, Canada has since set aside its annual Peace and Stabilization operations program budget for all-gender quality-related activities focused on achieving an assistance target as promised on the global table of the UN support for girls and women’s security.[12] To stretch its presence in the arena of women’s support, Canada integrated the Feminist Foreign Policy into its governance system, which has received massive appraisal from the international community.

United Nations Policy on Women Empowerment

United Nations, formed afterword war 2, is responsible for maintaining international peace, influencing harmony among nations, and promoting friendly cooperation between its member states. The UN believes that stability should not only be observed within the borders of the member state but also, importantly, internally. With this intention to have a peaceful world, the UN has tried to advocate for balance in all sectors of humankind and encouraged nations to attentively act on any uprising of gender wars to avoid the looming danger of societal breakdown. The objective of the UN for women has long been empowerment and offering equal opportunities to them, which is reflected in Canada’s Feminist Foreign Scheme, adopted on equality and extended opportunities pillars as they seek to make the world a better place.


The Canadian Feminist Foreign Policy has been making headlines since its adoption in 2017, making the country the second after Sweden to adopt the approach. Over time, since then, the Canadian prime minister has been praised for the advances because the scheme seems to be working correctly and in line with the National agenda and his government’s vision. Even though there has been wide criticism of the policy nature, many nations, including the USA and the European Union, have since joined in to try this new scheme of achieving gender balance to improve their countries. Gender discrimination is a war that we should bring to an end. It is evident if a government takes an interest in the ability of all its citizens collectively, they become better and more productive. As projected while trying the Feminist Foreign Policy in Canada, which was later absorbed into the administration system, both gender, male and female, deserve to be treated with the same dignity and accorded equal opportunities to help the country thrive and move higher in the international rank. International relations demand that a government be observant of its internal affairs for its influence to be considered globally. We can only achieve that by adopting policies that can be shared globally and encouraging the equality of gender and every other talent causing an uproar in the world today.


Boyle, Michael. 2015. “World Order: Reflections on the Character of Nations and the Course of History. By Henry Kissinger”. International Affairs 91 (1): 172-174.

“Gender Equality: A Foundation for Peace – Canada’s National Action Plan 2017-2022 – for the Implementation of the UN Security Council Resolutions on Women, Peace and Security”. 2022. GAC. enjeux_developpement/gender_equality-egalite_des_genres/cnap-pnac-17- 22.aspx?lang=eng.

Haussman, Melissa. 2004. “Review: Feminist Perspectives on Canadian Foreign Policy”. International Journal: Canada’s Journal of Global Policy Analysis 59 (2): 469- 471. doi:10.1177/002070200405900221.

Hillmer, Norman, and Philippe Lagassé. n.d. Justin Trudeau And Canadian Foreign Policy.

Martineau, Harriet. 2009. Society in America. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Parisi, Laura. 2020. “Canada’s New Feminist International Assistance Policy: Business as Usual?”. Foreign Policy Analysis 16 (2): 163-180. doi:10.1093/fpa/orz027.

Robinson, Fiona. 2019. “Feminist Foreign Policy as Ethical Foreign Policy? A Care Ethics Perspective”. Journal of International Political Theory 17 (1): 20-37.

Smith, Heather, and Tari Ajadi. 2020. “Canada’s Feminist Foreign Policy and Human Security Compared”. International Journal: Canada’s Journal of Global Policy Analysis 75 (3): 367-382. doi:10.1177/0020702020954547.

Smith, Sarah. 2018. “Introducing Feminism in International Relations Theory”. E-International Relations.

Thomson, Jennifer. 2020. “What’s Feminist about Feminist Foreign Policy? Sweden’s and Canada’s Foreign Policy Agendas”. International Studies Perspectives 21 (4): 42-437.

Tiessen, Rebecca, and Krystel Carrier. 2015. “The Erasure of “Gender” In Canadian Foreign Policy under the Harper Conservatives: The Significance of the Discursive Shift from “Gender Equality” to “Equality between Women and Men””. Canadian Foreign Policy Journal 21 (2): 95-111. doi:10.1080/11926422.2014.977310.

Yeysca, Mita. 2018. “CAN FEMINISM BE CONSIDERED A MAINSTREAM THEORY OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS?”. Jurnal Asia Pacific Studies 1 (2): 185. doi:10.33541/japs.v1i2.620.

[1] Rebecca, Tiessen, and Carrier Krystel. 2015. “The Erasure of “Gender” In Canadian Foreign Policy under the Harper Conservatives: The Significance of the Discursive Shift from “Gender Equality” to “Equality between Women and Men.” Canadian Foreign Policy Journal 21 (2): 95-111. doi:10.1080/11926422.2014.977310

[2] “Gender Equality: A Foundation for Peace – Canada’s National Action Plan 2017-2022 – for the Implementation of the UN Security Council Resolutions on Women, Peace and Security”. 2022. GAC.

[3] Fiona, Robinson. 2019. “Feminist Foreign Policy as Ethical Foreign Policy? A Care Ethics Perspective”. Journal of International Political Theory 17 (1): 20-37.

[4] Michael, Boyle. 2015. “World Order: Reflections on the Character of Nations and the Course of History. By Henry Kissinger”. International Affairs 91 (1): 172-174.

[5] Sarah, Smith. 2018. “Introducing Feminism in International Relations Theory.” E-International Relations.

[6] Melissa, Haussman. 2004. “Review: Feminist Perspectives on Canadian Foreign Policy.” International Journal: Canada’s Journal of Global Policy Analysis 59 (2): 469-471. doi:10.1177/002070200405900221.

[7] Harriet, Martineau. 2009. Society in America. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

[8] Laura, Parisi. 2020. “Canada’s New Feminist International Assistance Policy: Business as Usual?” Foreign Policy Analysis 16 (2): 163-180. doi:10.1093/fpa/orz027.

[9]Norman, Hillmer, and Lagassé Philippe. n.d. Justin Trudeau And Canadian Foreign Policy.

[10] Mita, Yesyca. 2018. “CAN FEMINISM BE CONSIDERED A MAINSTREAM THEORY OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS?” Jurnal Asia Pacific Studies 1 (2): 185. doi:10.33541/japs.v1i2.620.

[11] Heather, Smith and Ajadi Tari. 2020. “Canada’s Feminist Foreign Policy and Human Security Compared”. International Journal: Canada’s Journal of Global Policy Analysis 75 (3): 367-382. doi:10.1177/0020702020954547.

[12] “Gender Equality: A Foundation for Peace – Canada’s National Action Plan 2017-2022 – for the Implementation of the UN Security Council Resolutions on Women, Peace and Security”. 2022. GAC.


Don't have time to write this essay on your own?
Use our essay writing service and save your time. We guarantee high quality, on-time delivery and 100% confidentiality. All our papers are written from scratch according to your instructions and are plagiarism free.
Place an order

Cite This Work

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing style below:

Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Need a plagiarism free essay written by an educator?
Order it today

Popular Essay Topics