Towards a Meaningful Change: Gendered Foreign Policy in Practice

Save the date for the online conference "Towards a Meaningful Change: Gendered Foreign Policy in Practice" under the auspices of the Czech Minister of Foreign Affairs Tomáš Petříček.


Date: 04.12.2020
Time: 10:00
In cooperation: Ministerstvo zahraničních věcí ČR, Evropský sociální fond
Organized by: Institute of International Relations


The program in PDF is available here.


10:00 – 10:15

Opening Remarks:

Tomáš Petříček, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic

Michelle Müntefering, Minister of State at the Federal Foreign Office, Germany

Tomáš Dopita, Senior Researcher, IIR Prague

10:15 – 10:45

A Keynote Speech:

Ann Towns, Professor of Political Science at the University of Gothenburg

Gender Patterns in Ministries of Foreign Affairs: An Uphill Battle


 10:45 – 12.00

Advancing the Women, Peace and Security Agenda

The UN SC Resolution 1325, adopted in 2000, led to an unprecedented global spread of gender equality policies in the area of peace and security involving a total of 86 National Action Plans (NAPs) worldwide, including the Czech one. Yet, the 20th anniversary of the resolution is being overshadowed by a global backlash on women’s rights and the continuous lack of implementation of the resolution as well as the gendered implications of the global Covid-19 pandemics. This international panel brings together policy makers, academics and members of civil society with various backgrounds and experiences to debate the possible pathways for advancing the WPS agenda towards meaningful changes on the ground.

 The panellists will focus on the following questions:

  • What concrete steps can be made in foreign and domestic policies through NAPs and other instruments?
  • How to strengthen the long-term conflict prevention, the most neglected WPS pillar, yet the key one for sustainable peace?
  • How to address the socioeconomic inequalities that often undermine peacebuilding efforts?
  • How can foreign policy practice tackle the multiple aspects of gendered insecurities, including the social, economic, health and environmental threats?


  • Jacqueline O’Neill, Ambassador for Women, Peace and Security, Canada
  • Eva Tabbasam, Policy, Advocacy & Communications Coordinator, Gender Action for Peace and Security, UK
  • Lena Kvarving – seconded expert in the OSCE, Lt Colonel in the Norwegian Armed Forces and member of the Nordic Women’s Mediators Network
  • Nina Potarska, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Ukraine
  • Nina Bernarding, Director, Centre for Feminist Foreign Policy, Germany

Moderator: Míla O’Sullivan

13:00 – 14.15

Women’s empowerment and gender equality in the practice of development cooperation: Who does what and how do we measure it?

Gender equality and women’s empowerment have long been established as norms of international development cooperation. While it is relatively easy to embrace these norms in official documents, it is not nearly as easy to put these norms into practice. This panel will inquire into what it means to work towards women’s empowerment and gender equality in the complex environment of contemporary international development.

The panellists will focus on the following questions:

  • How do we ensure that the ideals of women’s empowerment and gender equality do not wither away during the planning and implementation of development projects and programmes? How do we measure progress in this area?
  • What is the most desirable division of tasks, funds, and responsibilities between the donors (e.g. Czechia), international organisations, non-governmental development organisations, partner countries, and receiving communities?
  • How do you perceive the donor landscape in terms of fulfilment of gender norms? Who is the best actor in this regard? And how about the Czech Republic or other Central European donors?
  • How does the COVID-19 pandemic change the landscape of development cooperation?


Moderator: Tomáš Dopita

 14:30 – 15.45

From empowerment to development: Exploring the link between the fight against gender-based violence, support for sexual and reproductive rights, health, and demographic transition in foreign policy

The viral spread of the #MeToo movement has helped to break the silence over gender-based violence and empower women and girls to affirm the respect for their bodies. Yet at the same time there is a global backlash on sexual and reproductive rights with profound consequences not only for women’s freedom, but also for the health and well-being of entire populations worldwide, which are further exacerbated by the pandemic. Indeed, there is an undeniable, yet controversial nexus between population growth and poor performance on other development indicators. This panel will explore the full length of this link between women’s empowerment and sustainable development.

The panellists will focus on the following questions:

  • What is the link between women’s and girls’ empowerment and people’s well-being with a particular focus on the Middle East and Africa?
  • How should we tackle sexual and reproductive health and rights in sensitive political and religious contexts?
  • What holistic vision can we bring forward for the Czech foreign and development policies to promote sexual and reproductive rights worldwide?


  • Johanna Nejedlová, co-founder of Konsent, a Prague-based CSO dedicated to preventing rape and sexual harassment
  • Avni Amin, scientist in the Human Reproduction Programme, World Health Organisation, Geneva
  • Jana Hybášková, Special envoy at the Czech MFA and former EU ambassador in Iraq a Namibia

Moderator: Ondřej Horký-Hlucháň



Gender in Foreign Policy: A Workshop on Academic Writing with Ann Towns, 8 January 2021