by Sarah Tuckey, PhD Candidate and Gender Consultant
On August 31, 2018, the Women, Peace and Security Network – Canada (WPSN-C) released their latest publication, reflecting on and critically reviewing the latest Canadian National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security (the C-NAP).
The publication, Women, Peace and Security in the Age of Feminist Foreign Policy: Reflections on Canada’s New National Action Plan, explores the long-awaited second iteration of the C-NAP, as the first expired in March of 2016. Since then, Canada has engaged with feminist issues, including the Women, Peace and Security Agenda, on the national and international stage many times: with the International Assistance Review, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development, and the Defence Policy Review. Not to mention the political attention paid to feminism through Prime Minister Trudeau’s Liberal government raising the concept and approach as a necessity in Canada and on the world stage.
The publication recognizes the great strides that have been taken between the first iteration and the second C-NAP, noting how it demonstrates a more sophisticated analysis, situated in feminist academic literature and the global feminist foreign policy discussion, exploring the links between security, gender inequalities and women’s rights. Yet the authors also recognize that key issues are lacking in the new C-NAP, and remain unacknowledged: there are concerns regarding overall policy coherence, reporting and implementation capabilities, whether lessons have been learned from specific country and industry contexts, and the lack of targeted budgets for women, peace and security.
With the new C-NAP, the development of a new Action Plan Advisory Group, co-chaired by the WPSN-C, has been formalized to hold the Canadian government accountable on its WPS initiatives. In support of this new relationship, this publication aims to contribute critical and knowledgeable analysis, and carry the discussion forward as Canada focuses on the implementation of its new C-NAP and the first progress report expected in September.