Feminist Foreign and Development Policy Fellowship at the CSW

headquarters of the UN in New York City

March 2024, in New York

Application Deadline: January 14, 2024

The Washington DC office of the Heinrich Böll Foundation, the German Green political foundation, is pleased to announce the second iteration of our Feminist Foreign and Development Policy Fellowship. With this program, we aim to help realize an intersectional feminist foreign and development policy that benefits countries in the Global North and Global South. We aim to put the promises of feminist foreign and development policy into practice and center the voices and expertise of women and marginalized groups from the Global South. By providing space, access and experience in the realm of international institutions and politics to young feminists from across the globe, our Foundation hopes to use its leverage and connect young underrepresented voices to relevant decision-makers.

Two years ago, Germany’s government committed to pursue a feminist foreign and development policy. Since then, civil society and government leaders have tried to translate and implement feminist foreign and development policy goals in the context of active conflicts and crises. At the same time, the backlash against gender equality, women’s and LGBTQI and queer rights in many parts of the world has become more noticeable.

Various intergovernmental bodies have long been working on the advancement of the rights of women and girls, on female empowerment and leadership, and towards a full implementation of gender equality across development agendas. One of the most prominent actors in these undertakings is the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), which is the principal global intergovernmental body exclusively dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. Supported by UN Women, the CSW hosts annual sessions each spring in New York City to discuss these issues among representatives of the CSW’s Member States, UN entities, and accredited non-governmental organizations.

To support promising/leading feminist voices from the Global South in better accessing these spaces and sharing their expertise, the Heinrich Böll Foundation, Washington, DC offers three fellowships for CSW participation. The fellowship will fully cover participants’ travel costs to attend the CSW, provide passes to the CSW meetings, as well as opportunities to attend supplementary meetings and events tailored to the fellowship.

The programming will focus on the two themes of the next CSW session, which will take place in New York City from March 11-22, 2024:

  • Accelerating the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls by addressing poverty and strengthening institutions and financing with a gender perspective;
  • Social protection systems, access to public services and sustainable infrastructure for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls (as per the agreed conclusions of the sixty-third session).

Participants are free to choose CSW and NGO side events how they see fit. In advance of the sessions, the Heinrich Böll Foundation will organize additional meetings with like-minded actors and workshops that can help participants shape their interventions at the CSW.

The key objectives of this fellowship opportunity are:

  • To provide a learning and networking experience for emerging feminist leaders in development and foreign policy. As a result, participants will be better able to pursue their policy and advocacy aims and tap into a global network of like-minded change-makers.
  • Enable more inter-generational and cross-regional debate on feminist development and foreign policy.
  • Serve as a mechanism through which emerging feminist leaders can identify issues that require further debate and/or advocacy, and where exchange between relevant actors can be facilitated


We seek candidates who are emerging feminist leaders and activists in the fields of human rights, reproductive rights, decolonial struggles etc. They should be actively engaged in developing and shaping feminist development and foreign policy in at least one of the following ways, preferably related to the two issue areas of the upcoming CSW:

  • as leaders and activists in civil society organizations (e.g. supporting feminist approaches to development policy on the ground)
  • as elected officials or policy advisors at local, state, national, or supra-regional level (e.g. implementing feminist foreign & development policy, Women, Peace & Security agenda)
  • as students, researchers, or teachers in academia or think tanks (e.g. researching women’s and queer rights and representation with an international lens)
  • as entrepreneurs in the private sector (e.g. developing creative solutions in support of gender equality and women’s and queer human rights)

Candidates should explain how their work or activism is related to issues of either feminist foreign policy and/or feminist development policy and articulate how their participation at the CSW will advance their efforts. Candidates need to between the ages of 21 and 35 and should not have already attended the CSW in the past.

Regional background: In 2024, we are seeking applicants from/based in Latin America, Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Caucasus Region. We will not accept applications from Europe (exception: Caucasus Region) and North America.


  • Travel to the US and participate at the 2024 CSW: All candidates must be available to travel to the US and participate at the CSW for a 5-day period from March 11 – 22, 2024. The exact dates of the trip will be set once the CSW program is announced.
  • Engage in discussions and provide thematic inputs. Once selected, fellows will be asked to provide a short statement / strategy outlining what goals they aim to achieve at the CSW (e.g. an intervention during a specific event, targeted networking on a specific issue, etc.). During the exchange visit, participants will be asked to share their key insights and expertise in public and private events, workshops and meetings.
  • Active social media engagement: While traveling and participating in the CSW, participants are expected to actively engage with the Heinrich Böll Foundation, Washington DC over Twitter, Bluesky, Instagram, and/or LinkedIn to report on their experiences. The foundation will also publish a profile of each participant on the Heinrich Böll Foundation, Washington DC website.
  • Be part of a growing network: Candidates should apply not only to participate in the CSW, but with the outlook of becoming part of a growing network of feminist thinkers and “doers” that mutually support each other in advancing a new vision for global diplomacy and development.

Please note that professional competency in English is required.


  • Travel Costs: The Heinrich Böll Foundation will cover the cost of international flights; transportation to the departing and arriving airport, as well as local transportation in NYC; up to 6 nights of accommodation in New York City; and health/travel insurance. Selected meals will also be provided.
  • Visa Processing: If needed, the Foundation will support the visa application process by providing an official letter of invitation and will cover visa fees. Please note that the Foundation cannot guarantee that visas will be processed in time.
  • CSW Registration: The Foundation will facilitate conference registration and cover related fees.


Please read the instructions carefully as we will not consider incomplete applications. Applications should consist of:

  1. Resume: Please use a standard US format. Standard US resumes do not include pictures or marital/familial status and have a maximum of 2 pages. Please indicate your age, as the study tour is limited to candidates between the ages of 21 and 35.
  2. Cover letter: Please submit a one-to-two page letter outlining your motivation and qualifications for attending the CSW. Describe what you hope to gain from your time at the CSW, what relevant experience you bring, and how you want to contribute to the conversations before, during and after the CSW.

Click here to submit your application.

The application deadline is January 14, 2024.

Public health note:

Please note that there is a possibility that the program may need to be adapted on short notice due to public health restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The health and safety of participants is of the utmost importance and any changes to the program format will be communicated as soon as possible. During the study tour we ask all participants to follow the safety precautions that will be shared before the start of the program.

About the Heinrich Böll Foundation Washington, DC:

The Heinrich Böll Foundation Washington, DC is a non-profit organization that is part of the global green movement. The Washington, DC office, in line with the foundation’s guiding principles and values, works to strengthen civil liberties, human rights, and democratic institutions. We promote gender equality, social justice, and equity. We strive to preserve a habitable planet for current and future generations. We foster these goals through a diversity of projects such as public seminars, fellowships, study tours, and publications.

For questions and inquiries, please contact Teresa Eder at Teresa.Eder@us.boell.org or Remo Gassmann at Remo.Gassmann@us.boell.org.