Toxic masculinity & the Gender Action Plan III

Putin is peak toxic masculinity. This is clearly demonstrated by his war of aggression in Ukraine. The Russian president’s foreign policy is characterized by dominance and aggression; in his thinking, “empires” are more important than the safety of people, and he sees diverse perspectives as a threat to his power.

But while we fight Putin’s aggressions, decide on sanctions and increase military spending, we should continue working on changing the kind of foreign policy that got us into this situation in the first place.

As early as October 2020, the European Parliament adopted a report for a feminist EU foreign policy, written by my colleague Ernest Urtasun and myself.

In the following month, the European Commission published the so-called „Gender Action Plan III“, which sets out the EU’s goals for promoting gender equality in foreign and security policy. The plan, valid for the period 2021-2025, adopted many of our report’s ambitious demands.

If we want peace, we need a feminist foreign policy

Now the next step was upon us: The European Parliament published a report in response to GAP III – I was rapporteur for the Committee on Foreign Affairs. The report contains demands on how the objectives of the plan can be made even more far-reaching and coherent, and how they should be implemented.

We need to free ourselves from patriarchal structures, also in our own institutions. The GAP III is an important tool to reach this. Therefore, it is a good sign that the GAP III report was adopted this month with a large majority. Because if we want peace, we need a feminist foreign policy!

Here is my plenary speech on the topic, which I delivered on International Women’s Day 2022:

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