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Feminist principles

Women, girls and gender-diverse individuals are often disproportionately affected by conflict, facing gender-based violence, displacement, and economic marginalization. A gender analysis of conflict is critical to identify protection gaps, and challenge gendered power dynamics that fuel conflict and perpetuate inequality. Ultimately, a gender analysis of armed conflict is essential for ensuring that humanitarian responses are inclusive, effective, and that they address the needs of all within affected populations.

Our understanding of feminism

Feminism is a social, political and ideological movement aimed to achieve the political, economic, and social equality of the genders. Feminism acknowledges that gender is a social construct that creates unequal power dynamics between men, women, and gender-diverse individuals, and aims to challenge and dismantle these structures in order to create a more just and equitable society for all. In short, feminism strives for equal treatment, opportunities, and rights for individuals of all genders.

There are different strands of feminism, notably intersectional feminism, which takes into consideration power relationships between and within groups defined as such as by age, class, disability, ethnicity, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, and gender expression and identity. For the IHL Centre, feminism means gender equality. We advocate and work to secure the social, political, and economic rights of all genders, and seek to eliminate gender-based discrimination and oppression in conflict and post-conflict settings.  

Our commitments to feminist principles:

These commitments are the result of an extensive analysis and consultation process which involved all parts and levels of the Centre. They are a point of departure and will evolve as we continue to learn and to grow. Our commitments to feminist principles are:

  • Promoting equality, diversity, and inclusion in all our engagements, actively striving to amplify under-represented voices.
  • Integrating a gender-responsive approach throughout all stages of our planning, monitoring, and evaluation.
  • Implementing a gender-responsive and inclusive approach in our use of language in our communication and advocacy products.
  • Ensuring that our legal research and analysis, capacity-development work, and advocacy integrates considerations of gender, diversity, and inclusion.
  • Actively seeking to understand and include diverse experiences in our contextual and legal analysis.
  • Periodically reviewing our existing stakeholder engagements and conducting a gender analysis before new stakeholder engagements.

    Feminist principles in our work

    In practice, we apply a feminist perspective throughout our work, for example by ensuring inclusive, notably female, leadership and management; enabling fair and inclusive recruitment procedures; including gender-responsive perspectives in our legal analysis; and by encouraging a diverse composition of participants in events and trainings.

    Gender justice and equality

    Diakonia commits to ensure that all our work contributes towards true and inclusive gender justice. As stated in our global policy, we want to question and counter destructive wielding of power in our surroundings, as well as review our own methods. We work in accordance with feminist principles to identify and counteract patriarchal values in our own work and in society at large.

    Diakonia International Humanitarian Law Centre

    Stockholm, Sweden

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