From Rhetoric to Reality: Towards a Feminist Foreign Policy
IWDA and CARE analyse the 2019-20 budget and recent performance data on the aid program against a feminist foreign policy lens.
What does the first projected surplus Federal Budget in more than ten years tell us about Australia’s ODA priorities? Aid is, for the sixth year in a row, being cut; funding within the aid budget has been reallocated to support a new infrastructure investment facility; and new and additional funding for climate change is lacking.
It is the view of IWDA and CARE that women’s human rights and gender equality must be at the forefront of Australia’s foreign policy efforts, including our approach to ODA. Globally, there is increasing interest in the idea of Feminist Foreign Policy as an approach which provides the basis for an holistic agenda for the integration of gender equality into a broad spectrum of foreign policy settings, including ODA, diplomacy, security, trade and economic relations.
A Feminist Foreign Policy approach calls the priorities of this year’s Federal Budget into question: for instance, by 2022-23, for every $1 spent on Official Development Assistance (ODA), Australia will spend $11 on defence. Similarly, our gender analysis of the prioritisation of infrastructure investments and inadequate funding to address climate change suggest that the Australian Government’s budget does not adequately promote the advancement of gender equality, or take a holistic approach to integrating gender analysis across foreign policy efforts.