Chile became the first South American country to implement Feminist Foreign Policy. The Boric administration proposed the idea in March 2022. On June 12, the proposal came to fruition.
Chile will start implementing “Feminist Foreign Policy,” which means establishing the principle of equality and non-discrimination as a guide when setting the country’s foreign policy. Alberto van Klaveren, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, presented the policy on June 12, alongside undersecretary of Foreign Affairs Gloria de la Fuente and undersecretary for International Economic Relations Claudia Sanhueza.
“An equal, plural and diverse participation in the public space is imperative for a stronger democracy,” de la Fuente said. “Chile today, more than ever, aspires to the development of policies and actions that promote the autonomy and empowerment of women in different spaces to build a more just, inclusive, and sustainable society.”
The new foreign policy seeks to advance in two aspects:
On the international level, Chile will take an active role in bilateral and multilateral forums to advance gender equality. The country will promote coordinated foreign actions that correspond to the Feminist Foreign Policy guidelines.
On the domestic level, the government recognizes the persistent gender gaps that prevent the full participation of women in all decision-making spaces. The country will review regulations, processes, and protocols to accelerate and implement the necessary changes to reduce these gaps.
A new Division of Gender Affairs will be created, which will be responsible for the implementation of the Feminist Foreign Policy.
President Gabriel Boric focused on naming more ambassadors. The country saw an increase of women ambassadors and women representatives for Chile’s foreign affairs. Women ambassadors went from 14 in 2021 to 27 in February 2023.
The south Andean country became the first South American country to implement Feminist Foreign Policy, joining countries like France, Germany, Canada, Spain, Luxembourg, and Mexico.
“We are facing a task that calls us all from our various spaces because we know that gender inequality severely limits the potential for growth and development of societies,” Foreign Affairs Minister Klaveren said.
“Although the concept can generate doubts and even suspicions, the truth is that the basis of a Feminist Foreign Policy is nothing strange,” Klaveren said. “It is the conviction to achieve a more egalitarian world, which recognizes and promotes the rights of women and girls, and adequately represents today’s societies.”
Chongyang Zhang is pursuing an Erasmus Mundus Joint Master’s program in journalism, media and globalisation. His interest lies in the relations among the United States, Latin America and China. He is currently doing an exchange semester at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile.