Exploring Ethical Principles within Feminist Foreign Policy

Proceedings of The World Conference on Gender Equality

Year: 2023



Exploring Ethical Principles within Feminist Foreign Policy

Gunel Madadli




The paper intends to argue how ethics can find its functional position within the implementation of Feminist Foreign Policy (FFP) without challenging the reality of the social, economic, and political conditions of the country. Feminist ethics elaborates on the gender concepts within the ethical and moral beliefs which historically surrounded the privilege of men and the oppression and subordination of women and girls. In this context, the notion of oppression indicates the ignoring of the viewpoints of the marginalized individuals and different approaches, preventing observing the events from the perspectives of the oppressed as well as through a gendered lens. One of the significances of feminist ethics is considering intersectionality in order to avoid assumptions of all men obtaining privileges regardless of race, ethnicity, class, etc. This helps the theory to focus on oppressive practices which marginalize others instead of causing discrimination and unnecessary prejudice between men and women, especially with those who are also harmed by the privileged. Hence, feminist ethics can be considered political since it aims to criticize the unequal distribution of power, privilege, or limited access to social goods. The paper elaborates on the inclusion of new groups, and diverse and innovative approaches by bringing new perspectives and critical evaluations by challenging domestic ethical settings and their reflection on foreign policy. The Feminist Foreign Policy concept has been initiated by the government of Sweden in 2014 in order to conduct a systematic gender equality perspective in external affairs. This approach combines the characteristics of ethical foreign policy, feminist theory, and ethics of care to bring phenomena like gendered discrimination, inequalities, and violence as well as gender mainstreaming. Although there is no agreed definition of the concept, the trend suggests an alternative approach to promoting gender equality and empowerment of women based on ethical and moral guidelines. The study looks through the relationship between FFP and ethics and how compatible they could be.

keywords: Feminist foreign policy, ethics, feminist ethics, gender in politics, morality