Feminist International Assistance Policy Action Areas

Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy outlines the government’s strategy for contributing to global poverty eradication efforts and to building a more peaceful, inclusive and prosperous world. Canada firmly believes that promoting gender equality and empowering women and girls is the most effective approach to achieving this goal.

The Feminist International Assistance Policy is one of a suite of existing international strategies guided by Canada’s over-arching feminist foreign policy, which also includes the Progressive Trade Agenda; the second National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security; and Canada’s defence policy “Strong, Secure, Engaged”. Canada will pursue a coherent approach that draws on diplomacy, trade, development, and security assets, and that leverages the expertise of a wide range of Canadian government departments and agencies. Canada is applying a feminist approach across all of its policies and programming.

The Action Area policies provide additional guidance on what Canada aims to achieve through the Feminist International Assistance Policy across all of its international assistance initiatives, including humanitarian, development, and peace and security support. Canada will pursue an integrated approach across the six Action Areas to support transformative change. Canada is committed to international assistance that responds effectively to local needs and opportunities. The Action Area policies help to define the broad parameters for Canada’s international assistance while enabling flexibility for country and institutional contexts.

The Action Area policies will guide Canada’s international assistance programming, whether through geographic, multilateral or Canadian partnership channels and will inspire Canadian advocacy and strategic policy efforts. They will inform results frameworks, progress reporting and performance assessment.

Canada’s international assistance focuses on helping the poorest and most vulnerable people, and supporting fragile states, in an effort to leave no one behind. This approach is grounded in a feminist analysis that is human rights-based and inclusive, in order to best respond to the challenges facing partner developing countries.

Canadian international assistance investments will contribute to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and will respect the Busan Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation principles. Sustainable Development Goal 5—achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls—is at the heart of Canada’s approach because it will drive progress toward achieving all of the other SDGs.

Canada will seek to build relationships with partners who can deliver the greatest impact and effectively address the pressing challenges of international assistance. Canada will continue to work with partners from host countries, civil society and the donor community, and will seek new opportunities for diverse and inclusive partnerships with emerging donors, the private sector, private foundations, social entrepreneurs and local partners and communities, including through modalities such as triangular cooperation. Canada will draw on the expertise of Canadians, including youth and Canada’s diverse cultural communities.



July 8, 2019


Global Affairs Canada