Mapping the intersections of gender, sexuality, 'race' and social justice in development and policy discourses

Silke Heumann*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic

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Much of contemporary development and policy interventions in the field of sexuality and gender – including those that aim at promoting sexual rights and gender equality – continue to reproduce very problematic assumptions around gender, sexuality, race, and class. These include the reproduction of naturalized and binary notions of sex, gender, and sexuality as well as of other problematic binaries, such as ‘modern/backward’, ‘west/non-west’, and ‘agency/victimization’. They also include a view of gender equality and sexual rights that reduces them to issues of identity and individual rights, thereby silencing the way in which these are connected to structural and intersectional inequalities, in the context of capitalism. As an introduction to the edited volume, this chapter offers a brief historical overview of dominant discourses on gender, sexuality, and race that circulate globally in the context of international development policy, with reference to a growing body of critical theory that enables us to engage with these differently. A critical engagement with development and policy discourses and interventions requires an interrogation of complex and intersectional power relations shaped by colonial histories and legacies, interracial relationships, and class relationships that intersect with normative ideas around gender and sexuality in the context of neoliberal capitalism.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGender, Sexuality and Social Justice
Subtitle of host publicationUnpacking Dominant Development and Policy Discourses
Place of PublicationLondon & New York
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9780429439483
ISBN (Print)9781138342965
Publication statusPublished - 27 Nov 2023

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