On 7 September, the Embassy of Sweden Hanoi teamed up with the embassies of Canada, France, Mexico, and Spain, as well as UN Women in Vietnam for a first-ever Feminist Foreign Policy dialogue.
The event was hosted by the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam and was joined by Vietnamese Deputy Foreign Minister Pham Quang Hieu and the President of Vietnam Union of Friendship Union Nguyen Phuong Nga.
Almost 500 participants joined online and in-person including among other participants from the Diplomatic Academy of Viet Nam, Foreign Trade University, Vin University, and Fulbright University.
According to the Embassy, the dialogue provided a learning opportunity and a progressive perspective on a comprehensive, feminist approach to a country’s foreign policy, for young and future Vietnamese diplomats and others who were interested.
Among other things, Ambassador Ann Måwe stressed that “Sweden has been a champion for gender equality globally for a very long time. This comes out of a conviction that gender equality is not only an issue of human rights. Sustainable peace, security, and development can never be achieved if half the world’s population is excluded. It’s smart politics and economics and it achieves real results. Sweden has also a very long tradition of working with gender equality domestically, driven by a strong women’s movement, and later on also a men’s movement in favor of gender equality. Because gender equality benefits all – men and women.”
Sweden was the first government in the world with a feminist foreign policy, in response to the discrimination and systematic subordination that still characterizes everyday life for countless women and girls all over the world. Feminist foreign policy is an agenda for change to strengthen the rights, representation, and resources of all women and girls.
Ambassador Måwe continued: “It was still a major change when the Feminist Foreign Policy was launched by our then Foreign Minister Margot Wallström in 2014. It is built on the guiding principles of the three R:s; Representation, Resources, and Rights. These three perspectives should always be applied. We are pleased that by now several countries have also adopted a feminist foreign policy. “
After Sweden, the feminist foreign policy was adopted by Canada in 2017, France and Luxembourg in 2019, Mexico 2020, and most recently Spain in 2021.
“Gender equality, empowerment of women and girls and ensuring their enjoyment of human rights are cornerstones of Swedish foreign policy and prerequisites to achieve peace, security, and sustainable development,” the Embassy states.