Message from Minister Hoekstra at the Female Foreign Ministers' Meeting on Feminist Foreign Policy in Mongolia

Transcript of the video message by Wopke Hoekstra, Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs, at the Female Foreign Ministers' Meeting on Feminist Foreign Policy in Mongolia on 29 June 2023.

Dear Minister Batmunkh, Your Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

Half the world’s population is female, and yet women are still severely underrepresented in most places where the decisions are made that affect their and our lives.

Everything we do, also concerns them.

So women, girls, and LGBTQI+ persons do need to have a seat at the table.

Not only because it’s the right thing to do.

Also because it’s the best thing to do.

Because it simply provides the best policies.

Research has shown that full equality in the workplace could increase global GDP by 26 per cent – dealing a huge blow to global poverty, economic inequality, and instability.

Research shows that societies with more women participating in the labour market are far, far less likely to experience internal conflict. 

When women are involved in peacemaking processes, it’s more likely that peace is established, and this peace is likely to last longer.

So whichever way you look at it: there is a strong case for having a feminist foreign policy.

Unfortunately there is also a strong global backlash against it.

That’s why it’s so important to have meetings like these, and I’m thankful to you Minister Batmunkh for organizing it.

And I’m happy to be part of the wider conversation.

We all agree in principle that focusing on women’s rights will be an accelerator of change, and we must now do what we can to realize our ideals in practice.

The Netherlands wants to make a difference.

This starts in our own organizations:

By integrating womens’ rights in every conversation, and making sure women are always part of that conversation;

By applying a gender lens to all our policies: like accountability for sexual violence by Russian troops in Ukraine, women leadership in climate action, and in cybersecurity;

By ensuring diversity and inclusion in our own institutions;

For us this isn’t a lecture, it’s part of a dialogue on shared interests.

Because again: half our population is female.

This is possibly the largest area of shared interest that any two countries can have.

I look forward to hearing the results of your conference, and will make sure these are applied to our own feminist foreign policy.

Thank you very much.