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OADH 4210 - Feminist Foreign Policy: how to fight for Gender Equality in International Relations

Type d'enseignement : Seminar

Semester : Spring 2020-2021

Number of hours : 27

Language of tuition : English



Course Description

***UPDATED 2020/2021***

This course will introduce students to the concept of « feminist foreign policy », a new and still undefined concept which was adopted for the first time in 2014 by Sweden. It will examine how gender equality has evolved from a peripheral « soft » to a central « hard » issue of international relations over the past years, and explain how and why governments have come to integrate gender as an important component of their foreign policy. Whereas they used to be considered solely through the lens of development, gender equality and women's rights have now become a battlefield between conservative and liberal governments, for which they resort to traditional and modern tools of diplomacy (UN resolutions, public diplomacy, social media…). Drawing on the history of four UN World Conferences on Women and international conventions, the course will provide students with the tools – international legal framework, diplomatic « hard » and « soft » power, advocacy methods – to promote and defend women's rights today. It will focus on case studies (some still ongoing) and simulations of negotiations between governments, UN agencies, civil society organizations and private sector organizations. The course is directly based on the experience and current work of the lecturer, who is Ambassador for Women's rights for the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. >>> Learning Outcomes

1. Understand the concept of “feminist diplomacy” through its different occurrences and the body of international legal framework for women's rights
2. Analyze the international political environment of gender equality and the “balance of power' between different stakeholders (governments, international organizations, civil society, private sector)
3. Apply negotiation methods to a real-world, ongoing case study of international negotiations for gender equality: the making of the Generation Equality Forum
4. Create a roadmap to advance gender equality in one of 6 areas (Gender-based violence, Economic Empowerment, Women in Tech and Innovation, Gender and Climate, Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, Women, Peace and Security), based on a given canvas

>>> Professional Skills

• Leadership & Management
• Team Work
• Written and oral communication
• Negotiation
• Advocacy
• Understanding stakeholders
• Research and Analysis
• Critical thinking
• Creative thinking


O, Delphine S. (Ambassadrice)

Pedagogical format

- Reading and Preparation for Class: 2 hours a week / 24 hours a semester
- Research and Preparation for Group Work: 2 hours a week / 24 hours a semester
- Research and Writing for Individual Assessments: 4 hours a week / 48 hours a semester

Course validation

• Participation in class: 10% / each class
• Preparation of the interview of one of the guests: 15 % / students gather in groups of to prepare questions for the guest of one of the sessions, and ask the questions during the session
• Oral presentation: 15% / a simulation of negotiations between different stakeholders (governments, international organizations, private sector, civil society) during Session 12.
• Written position paper: 20 % / a 3 to 5 pages paper to present the position of one of the stakeholders during the final negotiation, to be submitted for Session 6 at the latest.
• Final paper: 40% / a 10-pages paper focused on one of the 6 areas of gender equality, presenting a. the academic analysis of the state of affairs in this area (main facts and figures, primary stakeholders and their interests, challenges), and b. a roadmap to advance gender equality in this specific area in the framework of the Generation Equality Forum. To be submitted by May 10.
Pedagogical and feedback format (300 characters maximum. How and when will you provide feedback to students?) • Interview: feedback will be given at the end of the session, after the guest has disconnected • Final paper: grades will be provided 1 week after the deadline to submit the paper • Simulation: feedback will be provided 1 week after the end of the semester • Written position paper : feedback will be provided for Session 9 at the latest

Required reading

See course outline