“Be bold and ambitious”: Count Me In!’s recommendations for Dutch Feminist Foreign Policy

Count Me In! calls for a bold and ambitious approach from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation (MFA) to its Feminist Foreign Policy. CMI! strongly recommends that feminist foreign policy should be gender-transformative, intersectional, and anti-racist. 

In CMI!’s input for the Feminist Foreign Policy consultation process of the Ministry, we called the Ministry to be a bold donor and ensure 50% of their programmes and consortia have a Global South-based lead organisation. We also encouraged the Ministry to decolonise its foreign policy and be explicitly anti-racist. For that, the Ministry must expand and strengthen its knowledge of decolonisation and intersectional approaches and what they mean for MFA’s foreign policy and their funding support to feminist movements.

A few more of the key asks to the Ministry were: 

  • Aspire for policy and funding coherence across all relevant foreign policy areas, e.g. defence, finance, trade, and asylum. Be brave and do not avoid tensions where the interests of different stakeholders, e.g. the corporate sector, might clash. 
  • Stay a front-runner on the global stage in championing the work of and funding women’s rights and feminist movements and play an active role in educating and rallying other governments and funders to do the same. 
  • Ensure that all MFA efforts and investments build on the expressed local needs and already existing initiatives and that local civil society, in particular women’s rights organisations and feminist movements, is leading decision-making. 
  • Be bold: go beyond the narrow frame of short policy windows to be able to respond better to structural and long-term problems such as growing economic injustice, authoritarianism, and climate destruction

Count Me In!, as a collective of women’s rights organisations and feminist funders, responded to the call of the Dutch government to provide input and contribute to shaping its Feminist Foreign Policy. The online consultations followed the announcement on 13 May 2022 by Ministers Wopke Hoekstra, Foreign Affairs, and Liesje Schreinemacher, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, that the Dutch government had adopted a Feminist Foreign Policy. 

The Ministers informed Parliament about the outcomes of the consultations in November. There will however be more opportunities to provide input into the development of the Feminist Foreign Policy in 2023 and follow up on our recommendations. 

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