In recent months, scandals have erupted around revelations of sexual abuse and violence among international aid and humanitarian agencies, prompting questions about how best to tackle cultures of exploitation in the sector.
These questions have largely been met with technical responses like “safeguarding” policies, while feminist analysis of the roots of violence against women—or indeed the voices of women from the Global South themselves—has been sidelined.
The sexual abuse crisis is fundamentally about women, whether as survivors, “beneficiaries” of aid programming, in-country NGO staff, or experts and activists in the field of violence against women and girls. Women, therefore, have much to offer in forging a path to a more inclusive, supportive and responsive development sector.
In a small attempt to redress the glaring omission of Southern women’s voices, GADN has asked Zimbabwe-based feminist activist Nancy Kachingwe to share her thoughts in this thinkpiece.