Toward a Feminist Foreign policy in the United States: A Midterm Review of the Biden-Harris Administration

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Coalition for a Feminist Foreign Policy

Report cover photo, "Toward a feminist foreign policy in the United States: A midterm review of the Biden-Harris Administration." Photo is a click through link to the report. The Biden-Harris administration has made significant progress in articulating and implementing a more feminist approach to its foreign policy over the past two years. This progress is highlighted by the creation of the White House Gender Policy Council and the National Strategy on Gender Equity and Equality, both of which are important milestones for the United States and feature a number of foreign policy elements. The administration has also increased its budget request for gender equality in foreign assistance to a historic $2.6 billion and reversed many of the harmful elements of the previous administration. It has affirmed its commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion by appointing special representatives and envoys to advance key issues and the lived experiences of historically marginalized communities.

In this context, The Coalition for Feminist Foreign Policy in the United States has released a second scorecard to track U.S. progress toward promoting gender equality in 2022. This midterm scorecard, following the one-year scorecard, documents the progress made by the Biden-Harris administration across four areas as measured against the executive actions called for in A Feminist Foreign Policy for the United States: A Memo to the Next Administration (the Memo) and the Coalition’s signature policy paper, Toward a Feminist Foreign Policy in the United States. This scorecard highlights the challenges faced by the administration in 2022, both domestically and internationally, and evaluates progress made toward gender-inclusive policy. Domestically, the U.S. Supreme Court delivered a devastating blow to sexual and reproductive health and rights. Internationally, the war in Ukraine, the denial of women’s rights and access to resources in Afghanistan, and growing economic, food, and climate crises have all undermined progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals. The report notes that the election year in 2022 brought politics to the forefront and generated tremendous energy for issues such as abortion rights.

Despite the challenges posed by the new political configuration after the midterm elections, the coalition believes there is a window of opportunity for the administration to do more in the wake of the devastating Supreme Court decision on abortion rights and the nationwide upwelling of support for women’s rights and gender equality. The announcement of a feminist foreign policy is one of the most powerful policy tools the executive branch has to demonstrate its commitment to these issues both at home and abroad.

Publication Rights:

Coalition for a Feminist Foreign Policy (2023). Toward a Feminist Foreign Policy in the United States: A Midterm Review of the Biden-Harris Administration. Washington, DC: International Center for Research on Women.