On July 5th, 2016, the Women’s Rights Policy Group brought together 50 civil society and government representatives for a full-day dialogue. Its goals were to develop a common understanding of feminist approaches to international assistance, to assess the challenges, gaps and opportunities in Global Affairs Canada’s approach, and to develop a set of practical recommendations for implementing a feminist approach. The recommendations presented in this brief are informed by that dialogue, and by the authors’ longstanding experiences with feminist policy and programming.
Key Recommendations for a Feminist Approach to Canada’s International Assistance:
- Begin all international assistance decision making with the fundamental question: how does this initiative address power and structural barriers to gender equality?Develop mechanisms to ensure the application of a feminist approach is a necessary criterion for all international assistance.
- Ensure that 20 percent of all aid investments have as their principal focus advancing women’s rights, women’s empowerment and gender equality. As part of this, dedicate $100 million annually towards an explicit fund for long-term predictable support for feminist and women’s rights organizations and movements.
- Create a standalone thematic pillar that would operationalize feminist principles through targeted women’s rights and gender equality programming.
- Mainstream gender equality objectives throughout all policy and programs, with a commitment to ensure that all international development and humanitarian programming has at least one well-resourced intermediate level outcome that specifically addresses structural gender inequalities.