Canada – Feminist International Assistance Policy (FIAP)

Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy

Government of Canada
The last three decades have seen dramatic reductions in global poverty, but not everyone has benefited equally. Hundreds of millions of people, especially women and girls, are still poor, have unequal access to resources and opportunities, and face major risks of violent conflict, climate and environmental hazards, and/or economic and political insecurity. By eliminating barriers to equality and helping to create better opportunities, women and girls can be powerful agents of change and improve their own lives and those of their families, communities and countries. This is a powerful way to reduce poverty for everyone.

Canada is part of a global community. This is why we invest in international assistance: helping to eradicate poverty and vulnerability around the world enhances our own safety and prosperity.

Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy recognizes that supporting gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls is the best way to build a more peaceful, more inclusive and more prosperous world. To do this, it supports targeted investments, partnerships, innovation and advocacy efforts with the greatest potential to close gender gaps and improve everyone’s chance for success. But it also works across other action areas that reflect the multi-dimensional nature of poverty, in support of the Sustainable Development Goals. Working in this way leads to better development results and benefits everyone, including men and boys.

Canada’s feminist international assistance will help protect and promote the human rights of all vulnerable and marginalized groups and increase their participation in equal decision making. This will help women and girls achieve more equitable access to and control over the resources they need to secure ongoing economic and social equality. Committing to a feminist approach to international assistance represents a significant shift in how we work. A feminist approach is much more than focusing on women and girls; rather, it is the most effective way to address the root causes of poverty.

Our priorities will be strengthened by work in the following action areas:

Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women and Girls will be our core area of work. We will support efforts to reduce sexual and gender-based violence, to strengthen women’s organizations and movements that advance women’s rights, to improve governments’ capacity to provide services to women and girls and to improve gender analysis. We also believe that gender equality can be advanced throughout our work by integrating this analysis across the other areas of action. A feminist approach does not limit the focus of our efforts to women and girls; rather, it is the most effective way to fight the root causes of poverty that can affect everyone: inequality and exclusion.

To promote Human Dignity we will support access to quality health care, nutrition and education, and principled, timely, needs-based humanitarian assistance that better addresses the particular needs and potential of women and girls.

To foster Growth that Works for Everyone we will help increase women’s access to economic opportunities and resources. This will help women and girls achieve the economic independence they need to take control of their lives.

To promote Environment and Climate Action we will support government planning and initiatives to mitigate and adapt to climate change, advance women’s leadership and decision making and create economic opportunities for women in clean energy.

To support Inclusive Governance we will work to end gender discrimination by promoting and protecting human rights, advancing the rule of law and building stronger institutions. We will also encourage greater political participation by women and girls.

To help strengthen global Peace and Security we will support greater participation of women in peacebuilding and post-conflict reconstruction efforts, help to increase women’s representation in the security sector and enforce a zero-tolerance policy for sexual violence and abuse by peacekeepers.

We are also committed to improving the effectiveness of our international assistance, providing more integrated and responsive support, investing more in innovation and research, and becoming more transparent in our results and activities. We will concentrate Canada’s international assistance in a way that will significantly improve the lives of the poorest and most vulnerable, including those living in fragile states. And we will use our assistance to mobilize additional resources for sustainable development, including through building new multi-stakeholder partnerships.
> international.gc.ca/policy-politique.aspx
> Minister Bibeau launches new Feminist International Assistance Policy


Is the future of foreign policy feminist?

An OpenCanada series on the intersection of feminism and global affairs.
In this series, Karen K. Ho looks at Canada’s first big test of the application of a gender lens — its G7 presidency this year. Nathalie Rothschild explains the Swedish model and how it has been working thus far. Alice Driver reports from Mexico City on the intersection between migration, trafficking and feminism.

Finally, in a roundup from leading voices from around the world including Jacinda Ardern, the prime minster of New Zealand, Canada’s minister of development Marie-Claude Bibeau, long-time foreign correspondent Sally Armstrong and several others, we give 10 reasons why this policy progression matters — and where it should go next.
> opencanada.org/indepth/future-foreign-policy-feminist/