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Feminist foreign policy

‘In a region marked by violence and instability, Mexico should make an active commitment to peace by prioritizing a human rights and international cooperation approach over military-led initatives’

encourage a regional response to this problem – but it needs to go much further in tackling the deeply entrenched attitudes to women that lead to femicide.

US President Joe Biden’s administration recently pledged to address the root causes of instability in Central America as part of its efforts to curb the flow of undocumented immigrants through its southern border. Gender-based violence has long been a cause of migration in Central America. Research shows that gender inequality is a cause of internal conflict. Mexico-US cooperation should prioritize reducing gender-based violence to enhance overall stability and address immigration flows in Central America. Mexico’s militarized response to insecurity has further exposed women and girls to sexual violence. Mexico should move towards a civilian-led strategy, especially in the context of Mexico-US security cooperation.

This would require withdrawing the National Guard, a military-led security arm of the Mexican federal government, from public safety responsibilities, including border control, and investing in municipal police departments with genderresponsive training via US-Mexico security cooperation initiatives, such as the Merida Initiative to counter drug-fuelled violence and the US-Mexico Bicentennial Framework for Security, Public Health, and Safe Communities to counter cross-border crime.

In November , Mexico presided over the United Nations Security Council and organized an open debate chaired by its president Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

In his address, López Obrador pitched a global anti-poverty plan that calls on the , richest individuals and corporations to donate per cent of their annual wealth to a $ trillion-dollar fund to alleviate

‘marginalization and misery’. The specific purpose of the fund would be to support million people who live on less than $ a day.

This proposal is a step in the right direction. Although López Obrador did not specifically mention women, the widening poverty gap between men and women has increased since the start of the Covid pandemic. According to UN Women, the poverty rate for women increased by per cent between and .

If López Obrador’s proposal is taken up by the international community, the global anti-poverty plan has the potential to disproportionately benefit women and girls. To ensure th i s happens, the p l an needs to include gender-specific language and a stronger gender-responsive component that specifically recognizes the poverty gender gaps.

To be truly feminist, Mexico’s foreign policy should be aligned with core feminist values. The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom’s toolkit on practising feminist foreign policy lists intersectionality, substantive and descriptive representation, accountability and an active commitment to peace as core values. While Mexico’s feminist foreign policy specifically addresses the first two values, it neglects accountability and an active commitment to peace.

Hence, Mexico should include clear, measurable outcomes that enhance transparency and accountability to its constituents regarding the objectives and outcomes of its feminist foreign policy.

In a region marked by violence and instability, Mexico should make an active commitment to peace by prioritizing a human rights and international cooperation approach over military-led initiatives. With its feminist foreign policy, Mexico faces a unique opportunity to implement gender analyses across policy issues that have relevant consequences at the regional and international levels.

As the first country to adopt this progressive approach in the Global South, Mexico is strategically positioned to lead transformational change in Latin America. However, Mexico’s potential is contingent on whether or not it develops robust and measurable policies and seeks to achieve more ambitious goals. Daniela Philipson García is a Next Generation Fellow, Women in International Security



DEVELOPMENT Amina J Mohammed (1961-) UN Deputy Secretary-General and Chair of the UN Sustainable

Development Group

From her work on the Millennium Development Goals for the Nigerian government, Ban Ki-moon, the former UN secretary-general, appointed Amina J Mohammed as his special adviser on post-2015 Development Planning in the lead up to the Sustainable Development Goals summit, which set the global development agenda through to 2030. She spent a stint as the Nigerian minister of the environment then headed back to the UN where she currently acts as deputy secretary-general.

INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL JUSTICE Fatou Bensouda (1961-) Prosecutor of the ICC

This former Gambian Minister of Justice held a number of positions at the International Criminal Court over 20 years, with nearly a decade as the head of the Office of the Prosecutor. Under her leadership, her office was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in 2021. Her career began at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.

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