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Fem­in­ist de­vel­op­ment policy – for just and strong so­ci­et­ies world­wide

16.03.2023, News :

The joint press conference of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and the Federal Foreign Office on the publication of the strategy for a feminist development policy and the BMZ dialogue event with civil society paved the way for a feminist development policy in Germany.

[Translate to English:] Die Bundesministerin Svenja Schulze im Dialog über feministische Entwicklungspolitik mit der Zivilgesellschaft. Ute Grabowsky/Photothek (opens enlarged image)
[Translate to English:] Die Bundesministerin Svenja Schulze im Dialog über feministische Entwicklungspolitik mit der Zivilgesellschaft. © Ute Grabowsky/Photothek

Now it's official! On 01.03.2023, in a joint press conference with the Federal Foreign Office, Federal Development Minister Svenja Schulze presented the ministry’s strategy "Feminist Development Policy. For just and strong societies worldwide".

BMZ's feminist development policy builds on the existing commitment of feminist actors, but at the same time raises it to a new qualitative level. "I have made feminist development policy a priority for the work of my ministry, because 'business as usual' is not enough," said Federal Minister Schulze. The vision is clear: all people should be able to participate equally in social, economic and political life and exercise their human rights, regardless their gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, disability or other characteristics. "Alone, we cannot achieve real transformation," Schulze continued, "which is why it is so important that we stand here today together with the Federal Foreign Office."

Feministische Entwicklungs- und Aussenpolitik

Joint press conference on feminist foreign and development policy.

© Kira Hofmann/Photothek

The previous approach of supporting women and girls within the framework of existing structures is being extended by a development policy that sees the entire society as responsible to achieve gender equality and overcome power inequalities. Particular attention is paid to the transformative character of BMZ's feminist development policy. Inequalities are not considered in isolation from each other and established power relations, discriminatory social norms and laws as well as gender roles are to be systematically recognized, questioned and addressed.

Based on a wide-ranging consultation process with German and international civil society, international organisations and academia, BMZ has drafted an inclusive strategy for the reorientation of development policy that takes into account the perspectives and expertise of all actors. In particular, attention was being paid to voices from the Global South in order to shape development policy together with local partners. The strategy is to be substantiated in the third gender action plan addressed in the coalition agreement through more detailed goals and measures.

[Translate to English:] Einblicke in die BMZ-Dialogveranstaltung zur feministischen Entwicklungspolitik. © Ute Grabowsky/Photothek

Insights into the BMZ dialogue event on feminist development policy.

© Ute Grabowsky/Photothek

Finally, the role of civil society became clear again during the dialogue event on 15.03.2023, which took place in Berlin with around 100 invited guests on the occasion of the publication of the strategy. After Minister Schulze, together with Dr. Emilia Roig, founder and director of the Center for Intersectional Justice (CIJ) and Martina Schaub, chairwoman of the Association for Development Policy and Humanitarian Aid of German Non-Governmental Organisations (VENRO), provided initial impetus for the dialogue in a stage discussion, she particularly took the time to seek exchange in table discussions with the participants.

In summary, the Minister was impressed by the commitment and contributions: “The first event of the four-part dialogue series with civil society on BMZ's key topics was a complete success and put the process on a promising path”.

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