The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Anna Zuccaro,

New Feminist Peace Initiative Releases Movement-Driven Foreign Policy Framework

Vision links domestic & foreign policy, aims to democratize foreign policy discussions, center leadership of women, people of color impacted by these decisions.


In the wake of the 2020 presidential election in and demands for racial justice and defunding the police continue to grow, a new feminist peace initiative led by Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, MADRE, and Women Cross DMZ has released A Vision for a Feminist Peace: Building a Movement-Driven Foreign Policy. This groundbreaking framework dramatically reimagines US foreign policy built on intersectional feminist principles and driven by social movements.


Recognizing that the United States is facing multiple, interrelated crises -- related to widening economic disparity, systemic racism, climate catastrophe, and the coronavirus pandemic -- that are the disastrous results of US militarism at home and abroad, the framework calls for a new US foreign policy that prioritizes values of collective care, reparations, right relationship with people and the planet, and accountability.

Specific strategic recommendations include:

  • Defund the military, police, jails, prisons, and detention centers and close the US military's massive network of roughly 1,000 bases around the world. Stop the privatization of the military, end war profiteering, oppose new nuclear weapons and tests, and repeal policies, such as the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), which gives a blank check for US military interventions.
  • Organize against US military intervention in all its forms, including when it is presented as humanitarianism. Oppose efforts to enlarge the role of the military, even and especially when it is deployed in response to crises in the US and abroad.
  • Oppose sanctions and other economically coercive practices to pursue foreign policy goals. Economic sanctions endanger the lives of ordinary people, particularly the most vulnerable. Condemn the use of US aid funding to foreign governments to leverage their cooperation with the United States' global system of surveillance and military security.

The key to repairing international relationships, reimagining a more just diplomacy, and redirecting funds from the military's $732 billion budget will be democratizing US foreign policy so that women and historically marginalized communities most impacted by US militarism are stakeholders in shaping future policies. The framework calls on social movements both in the United States and abroad to work across issue and national lines in order to build wider constituencies in support of feminist foreign policy frameworks.

"The 2020 election was a referendum on the need to reject white supremacy and authoritarian rule. There was a real danger of armed violence during this election, coming on the heels of a season of police killings and emboldened militia actions," explained Yifat Susskind, Executive Director, MADRE. "US militarism is central to this crisis -- unleashed upon communities of color and their allies, both here at home and around the world. We need to be united in all of our diversity to support those who are the targets of militarism. This Feminist Peace Initiative is urgently needed now to advance collective strategies -- across communities, across countries, across movements."

"The American people are tired of endless wars and they're fed up with militarized policing in their communities. It's time to recognize that the challenges we face at home are directly connected to our bloated military budget," said Christine Ahn, Executive Director, Women Cross DMZ. "It's high time for those who know intimately the impact of US foreign policy to have a voice in shaping it. We would have a much less violent United States and world."

"As grassroots feminists, our movements are organizing to shift the business-as-usual failed policies of militarism and isolation. This global pandemic has revealed to us that decades of spending on endless wars, sanctions, police budgets, and carceral systems doesn't make us safer and, in fact, creates tremendous suffering for the communities that we represent here and our allies abroad," said Cindy Wiesner, Executive Director of Grassroots Global Justice Alliance. "More than ever, there is an urgent need for U.S. foreign policy to be guided by an intersectional feminist model of peace building that centers collective care and wellbeing, climate resilience, self-determination, diplomacy and reparations to prioritize the lived realities of those who are most harmed by militarism."

A Vision for a Feminist Peace: Building a Movement-Driven Foreign Policy is the result of a convening held by Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, MADRE, and Women Cross DMZ in February 2020. The group of 23 women and gender nonconforming people, a majority BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color), from across the United States included scholars, veterans, anti-war activists, community organizers, migrant justice organizers, and political strategists, who contributed to this framework in line with their antimilitaristic values and goals.

Women Cross DMZis an organization led by women working globally for peace in Korea. In May 2015, on the 70thanniversary of the division of Korea, Women Cross DMZ led a historic women's peace walk across the De-Militarized Zone from North to South Korea to draw global attention to the urgent need to end the Korean War with a peace treaty, reunite divided families, and ensure women's leadership in peacebuilding.