Canada’s empty promise : a critical examination of Canada’s feminist international assistance policy in relation to the missing and murdered indigenous women and girls in Canada

Thumbnail Image
Sikina, Carly Anne
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
In 2017, Global Affairs Canada (GAC) passed the country’s latest foreign policy entitled, Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy (CFIAP). Individuals have praised this policy, claiming it as a “game changer in international development” (Marwah, “Canada’s New”, para. 12). However, some feminist scholars criticize the policy, arguing it “acts as a feminist fig leaf for major initiatives in other foreign policy areas (especially defense) that are not feminist” and therefore, lacks a foundational feminist framework (Brown and Swiss, “CFIAP: Game Changer or Fig Leaf”, 129). It is crucial to ask whether this new feminist foreign policy is ultimately feminist, and question the actors who define that feminism. Throughout this analysis, it is argued that Canada is failing to ensure adequate protections of vulnerable groups, both nationally and internationally. I conduct an examination of CFIAP to uncover whether the policy aligns with feminist reasoning and question if it is reflective of the situation within Canada’s national borders. There is particular focus on indigenous women and girls, following the cases of the missing and murdered indigenous women and girls in Canada (MMIWG). This is done using a critical feminist lens, informed by intersectionality, feminist research ethics (FRE) and anticolonial epistemology. Keywords: Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy, Foreign Policy, Feminism, Intersectionality, Canada, Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women.
Second semester University: Univeristy of Ljubljana
foreign policy, women, indigenous peoples, feminism, Canada