The Empowerment of Women in Diplomacy

  • Ann Towns
  • Anne-Kathrin Kreft
  • Birgitta Niklasson
Part of the Gender and Politics book series (GAP)


This chapter surveys scholarship on the empowerment of women in diplomacy, a high-prestige arena that has been resistant to the entry of women. Diplomatic history shows that women occasionally occupied formal diplomatic roles prior to the nineteenth century. More commonly, their influence was informal. By the late nineteenth century, women were no longer allowed to occupy diplomatic positions. The role of diplomatic wife was institutionalized, and women continued to do informal diplomatic work. Scholarship on individual Ministries for Foreign Affairs has charted out struggles to open up Foreign Service organizations to women, the numbers of women and the positions they hold, as well as the barriers to equality in these institutions. The field now needs to turn to more comprehensive cross-national data and analyses.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ann Towns
    • 1
  • Anne-Kathrin Kreft
    • 1
  • Birgitta Niklasson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of GothenburgGothenburgSweden

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