Same-sex lives between the language of international LGBT rights, international aid, and anti-homosexuality

[Resourcel URL]

Go to Resource

[Relevance]

This academic article is relevant to development and humanitarian practitioners as it provides an examination of the intersecting relationships and tensions between international aid donors, African political leaders and African civil society organisations in regard to the protection of LGBT rights.

This academic article examines how LGBT rights intersect with international aid in Africa. In particular, the article looks at how the protection of LGBT rights as a condition for aid has been used by aid organisations and responded to by political leaders in Africa. The author argues that political leaders have marginalised the voices of people with diverse SOGIESC. The article looks at the difference between the way LGBT rights are discussed by international political actors and African political leaders and the implication of such differences on activists and civil society organisations in Africa.

The article focuses on the importance of language in shaping policy. The author argues that the significance of context and the specific needs of different people who identify as LGBT become lost in abstract conversations between international aid organisations and state representatives who talk about the “LGBT category” as if it were a unified and homogenous identity. The author argues that the discussion of sexuality rights in Africa is governed by language from the global North which diminishes the agency of actors in Africa. Moreover, the author contends that the use of language established in the global North to refer to sexuality rights creates particular responses from African leaders who consider such language to constitute neocolonial interventions.

The article contains three core sections. First, it looks at the language used by international political actors to argue both for and against LGBT rights. Second, it outlines how aid organisations have increasingly used the protection of LGBT rights as a condition for aid. Third, it examines how African civil society groups have responded to the use of LGBT rights as a condition for aid.

[Quote]

“Linking LGBT rights advocacy with international aid conditionality has created two central blind spots. While it has allowed LGBT rights to emerge as an international norm to underwrite aid relations, it has limited the scope of political discussion within the international development context. It has also limited the focus of these discussions to legal recognition and change rather than to a substantive social change that needs to support such legal developments to create sustainable change.”

Most Popular Resources

Beginner's Guide

No such thing as neutral: Understanding the implications of COVID-19 for communities with diverse SOGIE in the Global North

This Think Piece is by Kirsty McKellar, one of Edge Effect’s 2020 interns. Kirsty has recently completed her masters of Development Studies...

We deserve human rights: Interview with Emma Yaaka

Emma Yaaka (he/him) is an LGBTIQ+ advocate who has worked to provide medical services and information to LGBTIQ+ refugees in Kenya and...

This academic article examines how LGBT rights intersect with international aid in Africa. In particular, the article looks at how the protection of LGBT rights as a condition for aid has been used by aid organisations and responded to by political leaders in Africa. The author argues that political leaders have marginalised the voices of people with diverse SOGIESC. The article looks at the difference between the way LGBT rights are discussed by international political actors and African political leaders and the implication of such differences on activists and civil society organisations in Africa.

The article focuses on the importance of language in shaping policy. The author argues that the significance of context and the specific needs of different people who identify as LGBT become lost in abstract conversations between international aid organisations and state representatives who talk about the “LGBT category” as if it were a unified and homogenous identity. The author argues that the discussion of sexuality rights in Africa is governed by language from the global North which diminishes the agency of actors in Africa. Moreover, the author contends that the use of language established in the global North to refer to sexuality rights creates particular responses from African leaders who consider such language to constitute neocolonial interventions.

The article contains three core sections. First, it looks at the language used by international political actors to argue both for and against LGBT rights. Second, it outlines how aid organisations have increasingly used the protection of LGBT rights as a condition for aid. Third, it examines how African civil society groups have responded to the use of LGBT rights as a condition for aid.