Washington, DC – Today, Democratic Women’s Caucus Co-Chairs Congresswoman Jackie Speier (CA-14), Congresswoman Lois Frankel (FL-21), and Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence (MI-14), and Vice Chairs Congresswomen Veronica Escobar (TX-16) and Sylvia Garcia (TX-29), along with Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13), Chair of the Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs and Co-Chair of the Pro-Choice Caucus, sent a letter to Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III calling on the Department of State and Department of Defense to adopt a feminist foreign policy to empower women and girls in America and around the world.

“Although women and girls comprise approximately half of the world’s population, they continue to face considerable disparities relative to men and boys in their access to rights, resources, and agency,” the Members wrote in their letter sent on the last day of Women’s History Month. “It is past time for the United States to join Sweden, Canada, France, Luxembourg, Mexico, Spain, and Germany by adopting a feminist foreign policy.”

The Members also wrote that “(t)he ongoing invasion of Ukraine further highlights the immediate need for a feminist U.S. foreign policy. … Of the 3.5 million refugees who have fled Ukraine, over two thirds are women and children. Women arriving at the border face increased risk of sexual exploitation and assault, exacerbating an already alarming increase in sexual violence caused by the Russian-backed conflict in the Donbas region. In 2019 alone, one in three Ukrainian women reported experiencing physical or sexual violence, and the current conflict has increased that risk exponentially.”

Last year, the Co-Chairs of the Democratic Women’s Caucus Reps. Speier, Frankel, and Lawrence, along with Congresswoman Lee, co-led a resolution calling for a feminist foreign policy.

A copy of the letter can be found attached below.