Feminism and International Relations

Amid the increased disparities and differing opinion brought about by social classes, concepts have been developing regarding these classes on the power and political directions. In that case, international relations which profoundly impact the world politics seem to be entangled with respect to social stratifications. In that respect, therefore, essential facets in class struggles such as gender become a significant discourse in constructing the world order. Traditionally, it has been widely assumed that the power position is for a selected gender. This has also been supported by the basic characteristics which the society uses in giving the attributes of the world leaders. Basing our focus on this knowledge this paper seeks to unmask the role of feminists in control, construction and illumination of the international politics. On the same note, I seek to analyse the construction of states on the lenses of international relation theory with regard to feminists’ ideology.

Feminism in the International Relations

Feminism has been a theory widely used to expose the inequality nature of the international relations. The theory, therefore, would later seek to define the position of women in the power and political positions (McGlinchey et al., 2017). Since, in the view of feminists, women are highly marginalised and therefore a challenged is posed seeking to include them in what is termed as a higher political order. In the view of McGlinchey and colleagues (2017), this may include consideration of women in the areas such as military, security, the state and sovereignty.

The ideals of politics revolve around making policies, implementing this policy and actively participating in decision making regarding the welfare of the states. However, McGlinchey and colleagues (2017) suggest the impossibility of the women in such activities. In that respect, women have been widely excluded from the decision-making institutions making them invisible in the global and local political affairs. For instance, according to the 2015 World Bank report, about 22.9 of the national parliament are made up of women (McGlinchey et al., 2017). This further shows the prevalence of the traditional perspectives on women which later translate to decreased participatory in decision-making institutions. According to Tickner (2004), over 190 states in the world have shown an insignificant percentage of less than 1 percent in the leadership positions being held by women both as prime ministers and as presidents. Besides, according to Fernandez and Valdes (2016), feminist ideology has little influence on the international politics since the idea is dismissed by an increased number of men in the policy-making and decision-making institution.

In another account, issues regarding women have been ignored especially when the consideration is made on traditional gendered view. For instance, during the world war, two topics such as sexual assaults or rape were not prosecuted since they were regarded as the unfortunate results of war (McGlinchey et al., 2017). However, the good news is that sexual assault has been recognised as a crime attracting the focus of the international agenda. In essence, the 2002 Rome Statute has identified rape as crime irrespective of time situation or place (McGlinchey et al., 2017).

In consideration of issues affecting women in the society, feminist have constructed an idea that women are somewhat marginalised and that inequality is the order brought about by the traditional International relations perspectives. Interestingly, women become highly assumed to the victims and peaceful part of the population rather than the aggressive ones. In essence, this analogy has constructed another view that their experience as marginalised gender makes them be ignored in the global politics (McGlinchey, et al., 2017). However, Post-modern feminist quashes the use of history to predict the capabilities of female arguing that assumptions and historical notions are inferior in stating the true experience of human (Buskie, 2013).

Feminism ideology, especially in the realm of universalism, constructs gender oppressions in which women are continually marginalised and at the same time weakening global perceptions on their capabilities and attributes. This brings the whole ideal back to the culturally constructed gender which has prolonged the use of social attributes to define gender (Visweswaran, 2004). However, this discourse has been used to develop human rights tools that address the issues of gender from the local to being recognised in the global arena. Additionally, such human rights tools are centred on the practices that women undergo through in the society such as, harassment, Female Genital mutilation and other sexual assaults (Visweswaran, 2004). Interestingly, these factors have been accepted widely in the validation of principles of justice that describes violence and discrimination among women. Since most of these factors are culturally constructed, women in the society have been said to be oppressed by a culturally created narratives (Visweswaran, 2004). Intrinsically, airing out any concern regarding the change that can influence the international relations becomes limited.

Feminists approach has been cited as being incapable of bringing change to the international relations or the international political orders (Charlesworth, 1993). Ideally, this is supported by the way issues of gender are under-looked by the society from local to global arenas. Additionally, gender has appeared in many areas as irrelevant to the major facets of politics which are sovereignty and statehood (Charlesworth, 1993). In that respect, voicing concerns and being proactive in debates surrounding gender would make it more salient in influencing the international politics. Charlesworth (1993) indicates that feminist ideology may fail in tackling international political issues due to various facets that keep on recurring in both local and international communities. Such issues include culture, wealth and race which has created women's powerlessness. In this form of ideology, therefore, women would remain marginalised.

Concerning culture, the notion regarding the position of both men and women in the society has developed boundaries defining the disparities between the two in leadership (Gasztold, 2017). Ideally, this has been used to give participatory opportunity in political fields but with disparities recognised in the leadership hierarchy. For instance, in spite of wom4en being given political opportunity, their roles are positioned in supporting their male counterparts in political offices (Gasztold, 2017). In that case, therefore, men have remained in superior positions such as policy-making and state policy implementation institutions making them more superior.

In another perspective, the advocacy centred on the notions promoted by feminists seems to have been active in promoting or influencing significant insights in the international relations. For instance, the traditional international relation puts more focus on conflict anarchy and politics which do not respond to the contemporary issues (True, 2017). In that respect, therefore, feminists twist this focus to overlook the impact of norms process and ideas behind issues in the society. The norms identified in this case include environmental injustice, violence, socio-political inequality and poverty levels in the society which develops marginalised populations (True, 2017). In essence, the issues mentioned above have created a universally accepted definition of marginalisation and oppression that is essential in influencing a political decision in the world today.

In the realm of feminist international relations more advocacy is done in reducing the disproportionate power distribution and the influence one gender preferably men in controlling local and global aspects. In that case, the support has been about making members of the society be fully engaged in political and economic processes (Youngs, 2004). Critically, fostering universal access of economic and political processes forms the basis of a democratic ideology which has been the aspiration of the global politics. That said, we can conclude that feminists have a shred of impact in the political processes. However, the participation advocated may be understood by other actors as the general inclusion of people in the society without regards to the marginalised gender. This means society would hail its position as being democratic since all ethnic communities are included in the political system regardless of state's considerations to the female population.

In spite of feminists ideas being on the marginal end of the international relations, their contribution in peace and cohesion between states cannot be ignored. Studies indicate that gender equality which is advocated by the feminist has a more significant impact in reducing civil conflict (Hudson, 2012). This is attributed to a culture of smooth social and political life. The fostered social justice and peace are crucial in influencing the decision of international political actors. in fact, essential factor such democracy is widely associated to the advocacy of the feminist on promotional of universal inclusion in decision-making processes (UCLG, 2015).

World’s States in Promotion of Gender

The attitudes towards a concept in the society are majorly influenced by the ability of the state in shaping the idea regarding the concept in question. In that respect, the impact and the influence of the feminist ideology in the global politics can be viewed to be centred on the how the state is promoting the feminists' notions both locally and internationally. For instance according to (Banaszak, 2006) when the state implement policies that eliminates nondemocratic activities in the such as allowing more women I access of employment would change citizens' perspectives on the role of women making them equal to their male counterparts. This, therefore, indicates a change in attitude from the society that can be transferred to the global politics and international decision-making institutions.

The influence of feminist ideology on gender equality is yet to be realised due to the regimes factors as critical parts of international politics (Banaszak, 2006). Regimes in that respect form a critical part in the society which starts by influencing citizen's values, consequently reshaping citizen's views on gender roles and gendered leadership. In the global perspectives, other national differences develop disparities which shadow the ideals of feminisms international relations (Banaszak, 2006). Such factors include cultural norms events and historical discourses.

The Remedy

In a more critical view gender is socially constructed which indicates that deconstructing such a notion would bridge the gap between males and females. For instance, according to McGlinchey, et al., (2017) gender is constructed by the society through the assumptions of the different roles that a man and a woman can do. In that respect, therefore, masculinity is widely associated with power, independence, rationality and other leadership roles. Consequently, this undermines the woman in the society. In that case, therefore, fostering the participatory of women in the states, national and global politics lies on quashing the ideals of traditionally constructed gender.

Since the establishment of the feminist international relations approach, feminists have been trying to erase and change the stereotypes that regarding war and international security which in essence influence global politics (Tickner, 2004). In that case, therefore, feminists are developing notions seeking to change the perspective of peacekeeping missions as activities to protect women and the marginalised from the impact of war. Consequently,  this would create another notion that would make women more equal to men.

Although much has not been noted in the political and leadership arena, Feminists ideology have contributed to raising the insights on the issues affecting the society (Women Politics KCL, 2016). These issues are centred on the political social, legal and economic equality which have in the recent past triggered the attention of the international communities.


Feminist ideas in the contemporary political arena seem to be ideal in the management of the political goods. However, the issues centred on the inherent social norms regarding gender have played a significant part in challenging the visibility of feminist ideas. In that case, therefore, the traditional notional of the international political order seems to prevail which in essence leads to the marginalisation of women. Irrespective of these challenges feminism has been identified as a significant contributor to the promotion of democracy which is centred on the equal distribution of opportunities.


Banaszak, L. A., 2006. The gendering state and citizen's attitude toward women's roles: State policy, employment, and religion in Germany. Politics and gender, Volume 2, pp. 29-55.

Buskie, A., 2013. How important is feminism's contribution to IR?, s.l.: E-international relations students.

Charlesworth, H., 1993. Gendered States: Feminist (Re)Visions of International Relations theory. Michigan Journal of International Law, 14(3), pp. 440-444.

Fernandez, M. L. " Valdes, L. F. V., 2016. The international relations under feminist approach. Revista, 11(1), pp. 45-61.

Gasztold, A., 2017. A feminist approach to security studies. Volume 3, pp. 179-189.

Hudson, V. M., 2012. Sex and World Peace. New York Columbia University Press.

McGlinchey, S., Walters, R. " Scheinpflug, C., 2017. International relations theory. Bristol: E-international relations Publishing.

Tickner, J. A., 2004. Feminist responses to international security studies. Peace Review, 16(1), pp. 43-48.

True, J., 2017. Feminism and gendered studies in international relations theory, s.l.: Oxford University Press.

UCLG, 2015. The role of local government in promoting gender equality for sustainability, Paris: UCLG.

Visweswaran, K., 2004. Gender States: Rethinking culture as a site of South Asian Human Rights Work. Human Right Quarterly, Volume 26, pp. 483-511.

Women Politics KCL, 2016. Feminist contributions to our understanding of world politics, s.l.: s.n.

Young, G., 2004. Feminist international relations: a contradiction are essential to understanding the world we live in. International affairs, 80(1), pp. 75-87.

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