Intersections of Aid: Women NGO workers’ reflections on their work practices

de Jong, Sara (2009). Intersections of Aid: Women NGO workers’ reflections on their work practices. Centre for the Study of Social and Global Justice, Nottingham.

URL: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/cssgj/documents/workin...

Abstract

This paper seeks to untangle and analyse some of the tensions and complexities involved in feminist NGO practices.These tensions initially stem from the fact that the practices of western NGOs and development agencies have been criticised for their imperialist and colonial tendencies (Shiva 1989, Escobar 1995, Stirrat and Henkel 1997, Kothari 2005) while, at the same time western feminism has been critiqued assuming universalism of the experiences and needs of white western women (Lorde 1984, Hooks 1981, 1986, Carby 1992, Lazreg 2000). While feminism embraces a number of theories that disclose power relations, structures of oppression and "othering", it on the other hand [has] been attacked for perpetuating unequal power relations. Western feminists have been challenged to recognise that categories of gender, race, class and sexuality intersect in the creation and maintenance of power relations. Furthermore, they were challenged to confront their own privileges.

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