The new Swedish government has pledged to increase its focus on global women’s issues with what it describes as a feminist foreign policy. The U.S. Institute of Peace, in collaboration with the Embassy of Sweden, hosted a forum with new Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström on diplomacy and gender equality in a challenging global security environment. The forum, followed by a panel discussion and a reception, took place at the Institute on Wednesday, January 28.

Rosenbad. Photo credit Tatinauk/Flickr

The integration of gender perspectives as a core value in foreign policy is not just fundamental for establishing long-term peace and security; it is also crucial for reaching development goals and prosperity. Today’s security environment holds massive challenges for women and girls as a result of extremism, humanitarian crises, and conflict. At the same time, Beijing+20 and the post-2015 agenda provides an unprecedented opportunity to take a fresh look at how we can create a new, inclusive framework for global security and development.

In Sweden, Minister Wallström is reviewing how her nation’s foreign policy can be strengthened further with attention to gender perspectives. At the forum, Minister Wallström presented her government’s vision of how gender perspectives can inform foreign policy in the current security context.

Following her remarks, Minister Wallström was joined by former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Africa Ambassador Johnnie Carson, a USIP senior adviser, who moderated a discussion with the Minister, as well as U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Catherine Russell, and U.S. Ambassador Donald Steinberg (retired), a former deputy administrator at the U.S. Agency for International Development who now serves as President and CEO of World Learning.


Remarks: Minister Wallström

Panel Discussion

  • Ambassador Catherine Russell
  • Ambassador Donald Steinberg
  • Ambassador Johnnie Carson, Moderator

Reception to follow at 5:15pm.

Related Publications

Sweden’s Foreign Minister Explains Feminist Foreign Policy

Sweden’s Foreign Minister Explains Feminist Foreign Policy

Monday, February 9, 2015

By: James Rupert

When Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström announced last year that her government would pursue a “feminist foreign policy,” the idea “met with considerable derision,” she says. “We call it the giggling factor.” And where the response was not quiet laughter, it was often confusion, including in Washington. “No one knows what this means” for Sweden’s approach to conflicts such as the Russia-Ukraine war, a Foreign Policy headline declared in December.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Gender; Justice, Security & Rule of Law; Global Policy

Conflict Resolution and Preventive Diplomacy

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

The USIP Professional Training Program offered a one day seminar in conflict management skills for participants in a State Department International Visitor Program whose purpose was to acquaint participants with American perspectives on preventive diplomacy and conflict resolution.

Type: In the Field

Education & Training

What Policymakers Can Learn About Gender from Terrorists

What Policymakers Can Learn About Gender from Terrorists

Monday, November 18, 2019

By: Leanne Erdberg

The road to violent extremism is neither simple nor predictable, with diverse motivations and discrete, individual paths. No singular profile accurately describes all those who decide to join. Millions of people may experience similar situations and live in similar contexts but never join an extremist group, while some people will join who would we would not deem at risk. This makes preventing and countering violent extremism exceptionally difficult. It’s an even more intractable task when gender is an afterthought, or worse, gender is used to justify over-simplified, one-size-fits-all approaches.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Gender; Violent Extremism

View All Publications