1st Edition

Gender, Sexuality and Social Justice Unpacking Dominant Development and Policy Discourses

Edited By Silke Heumann, Camilo Antillón Najlis Copyright 2024

    This book addresses the intersections of gender, sexuality and social justice in relation to dominant development and policy discourses and interventions. Bringing together young scholars from Latin America, Africa and Asia, the book challenges dominant assumptions on sexuality in development discourse, policy and practice and proposes alternative approaches.

    Reflecting on both the ‘global north’ and the ‘global south’, this book investigates key social justice issues, from teenage pregnancy, child marriage discourses, sexual empowerment, to sexual diversity, female imprisonment and sexuality, militarism and sexuality, anti-trafficking policies and processes of racialization and othering in the context of migration. Overall, the book challenges binary constructs and argues for an intersectional perspective on gender and sexual diversity as a problem of structural inequality that interacts with other systems of inequality, based on race, age, class and geopolitics.

    This book will be of interest to social scientists and activists, as well as development scholars and practitioners engaging with questions of gender, sexuality and social justice.

    1 Mapping the intersections of gender, sexuality, ‘race’ and social justice in development and policy discourses

    Silke Heumann

    PART I Gender, sexual rights and non-normative gender expressions and sexualities

    2 Understanding incarceration and spousal/partner relationships: an exploration of female imprisonment and its effects on family relations in Zimbabwe

    Rotina Mafume Musara and Hellen Venganai

    3 Colombian women and US servicemen: encounters and experiences from Melgar

    Natalia Lozano Arévalo

    4 Salir adelante: the intersections of teenage pregnancy as experienced in the city of Monterrey, Mexico

    Brenda Rodríguez Cortés

    PART II Unpacking development and policy interventions in the field of sexual and reproductive health and rights

    5 Women’s sexual rights and empowerment beyond the liberal paradigm: understanding sexuality and power relations from the life experiences of young women

    Ana Victoria Portocarrero Lacayo

    6 Examining power/knowledge in the contestations of medical male circumcision in Zimbabwe

    Hellen Venganai

    7 Silences and misrepresentations in the international child marriage discourse: a double reading of Girls Not Brides

    Belén Giaquinta

    8 Bending the private-public gender norms: schooling experiences of young mothers from low-income households in Kenya

    Alice Nelima Wekesa

    9 Politics of identities: problematics of categories, labels and languages in LGBTQI+ movement in Bangladesh

    Shuchi Karim

    PART III Gender, sexuality and ‘race’: migration and the politics of identity and othering

    10 Narratives of being and belonging from the perspectives of young Dutch-Muslims in the Netherlands

    Mahardhika Sjamsoe’oed Sadjad

    11 Men, migration and masculinities: an intersectional analysis of Bangladeshi migrant men in The Hague, the Netherlands

    Mohammad Ibrahim Khalad

    12 Migration, sex work and exploitative labor conditions: experiences of Nigerian women in the sex industry in Turin, Italy, and counter-trafficking measures

    Eneze Modupe-Oluwa Baye and Silke Heumann


    Silke Heumann is Sociologist and Assistant Professor (Senior Lecturer) at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) in The Hague, the Netherlands. She holds a PhD and an MA from the University of Amsterdam (UvA) and a BA from the Central American University (UCA) in Managua, Nicaragua. Her teaching and research interests are gender, sexual politics and social justice; discourse analysis and social movements.

    Camilo Antillón Najlis has master’s degrees in sociology and in cultural studies and experience in education, research and programmes in the fields of gender and sexuality studies, sexual and reproductive health and rights, violence and urban cultural studies. He has worked with grass-roots, national and international organizations in Nicaragua and the Netherlands and collaborated with other Central American, East African and West African organizations. He has authored and edited several published works, including the Anthology of Contemporary Nicaraguan Critical Thinking (CLACSO 2016), a chapter in the collective volume Bodies in Resistance: Gender and Sexual Politics in the Age of Neoliberalism (Palgrave Macmillan 2017), and several articles and research reports. Camilo is currently affiliated with KIT Royal Tropical Institute.