Call for Papers: Decolonising Knowledge around Gender and Sexuality

In collaboration with University College London and Kohl: a Journal for Body and Gender Research, CTDC is delighted to publish its call for papers for its third annual conference, under the title Decolonising Knowledge around Gender and Sexuality. The conference will aim to address issues and challenges related to producing knowledge around gender and sexuality transnationally, with a focus on the Global South, through a decolonial lens. Through acknowledging that discourse-making is a political endeavour, we aim to question the epistemological and ontological grounding of research as praxis, not as mere pursuit of knowledge, learning, and education. For the full call for papers click here.

We are seeking papers by academics, grassroots activists, organisations and practitioners from the Global South, that speak to one or more of the following thematic areas within the fields of gender and sexuality studies:

  • Positionality and Intersectionality: How do our identities, multiple belongings and experiences influence our choice of research, its conduct and practice? How does our positionality influence the type of knowledge we produce around gender and sexuality? How can we produce knowledge around gender and sexuality that is genuinely reflexive, intersectional and decolonial
  • Decolonising Methods and Methodologies: How can we apply decoloniality to our choice of methods and methodologies? How can we decolonise traditional research methods, such as interviews, surveys and ethnographic research? How can we research and produce knowledge around gender and sexuality without using western frameworks for knowledge production? How can we turn around the ‘researcher versus researched’ dichotomy in our research practice?
  • Uses and Abuses of Indigenous Knowledge: How is indigenous knowledge being used within academic institutions? How is indigenous knowledge being utilised outside academic institutions? Why is there a need in the first place to produce indigenous knowledge and who does it inform?
  • Decolonising language and terminologies: How can we use ‘native’ language as a tool to decolonise knowledge produced around gender and sexuality? How do Universalist gender and sexual rights discourses, languages and terminologies contribute to cultural imperialism and structural violence in the Global South? What is the role of language and terminologies in influencing the production of localised knowledges in the Global South?
  • Decolonising Academic Institutions: How do academic institutions in the Global North contribute to cultural imperialism? How is knowledge produced in the West about gender and sexuality creating semi-realities and discourses around the Global South? How are academic institutions in the West complicit in creating hegemonies and hierarchies around ‘valuable’ knowledge?
  • Decolonial Research Ethics: How can we produce research and knowledge around gender and sexuality in the Global South that is ethical? To whose benefit are we producing knowledge around gender and sexuality in the Global South? Are we imposing terminologies and categories through research? Are we co-producing knowledge around gender and sexuality in the Global South? And how can we co-produce knowledge around gender and sexuality with grassroots and local voices?

Submission

We invite contributors, including activists, academics and practitioners, to submit abstracts of no more than 350 words by July 30, 2018. Please send your abstract and your short biography to info@ctdc.org. When submitting your abstract please point to which of the abovementioned themes your paper falls. We accept submissions in Arabic, English and French. Following the conference, selected papers from the conference will be featured in a special issue in Kohl: a Journal for Body and Gender Research. Subject to funding availability, we may be able to fund some travel costs, please email for more information.

End All Forms of Violence Against Women: CTDC Video for 16 Days of Activism

There are different forms of violence practised against women everyday casually, at home, on the streets and in all ways of life. It is important to stand up against all forms of violence against women and raise awareness.
هنالك أنواع مختلفة من العنف الممارس ضد النساء يومياً وبشكل “اعتيادي” في المنزل وفي الشوارع وفي كل مناحي الحياة،. من المهم مجابهة كل أنواع العنف ضد النساء وزيادة الوعي.
#16daysofactivism #endviolenceagainstwomen

Improving Service Provision for Non-Normative Refugees and Asylum Seekers in the UK: A Policy Brief

This policy brief focuses on services currently available for non-normative refugees and asylum seekers across the United Kingdom. It illustrates the gaps in service provision, and provides recommendations on how to fill these gaps. The brief shows how legal support is broadly available to non-normative refugees, but there is a lack of collaborative, widespread psychosocial support upon entry to the UK. Drawing on CTDC’s work and research in the Middle East and North Africa region, this brief also highlights the challenges facing non-normative refugees from Arabic speaking countries in particular, as well as recommendations to meet the needs of this group in the UK. You can access the full policy brief here.

Crackdown on Non-Normative People in Egypt

On 22 September 2017, the rainbow flag was raised during a Mashrou’ Leila concert in Cairo, Egypt. Following this, the Egyptian state has conducted an aggressive crackdown on individuals suspected to be members of the LGBT community. This crackdown has seen widespread human rights violations, at the hands of Egyptian authorities, including detentions without trial, torture and instances of ‘anal testing’ to determine the detainee’s sexuality. In total, 62 individuals have been arrested for ‘promoting sexually deviant activities’. Many of the arrests have taken place following police infiltration of alleged LGBT ‘safe spaces’, such as clubs and bars. This crackdown has also extended to online platforms, with many people taking to social media to hunt down, bully and harass those suspected of as ‘LGBT’. The police has also utilised dating applications, such as Grindr, and Facebook to find individuals with non-normative genders and sexualities. The situation is at a critical stage, and looks set to worsen in the coming weeks, if policy makers, diplomats and international media take no action against the government. Read our policy brief for further details.

Tackling Honour Killings through Sexual and Gender Rights Advocacy: Recommendations for Policy and Practice

Honour killing is a term used to denote a form of gender-based violence in which women, often young and unmarried, are brutally murdered by family members for being allegedly involved in illicit sexual practices, therefore dishonouring herself and her family. There is no accurate or current data on honour killings statistics in the Middle East and North Africa due to their unreported and often overlooked nature, and the refusal of continued governments to address the issue.

This policy brief will introduce the notion of honour killings, and highlight key obstacles and recommendations in tackling this long-standing issue throughout the Middle East and North Africa. This brief will also highlight some of the ways in which honour killings – because of their reliance on gender and sexual taboos – can be incorporated into broader sexual and gender rights advocacy strategies.

 

Conceptualising Sexualities in the MENA: Policy Brief

This policy brief builds on the arguments and conclusions set out in CTDC’s publication titled Conceptualising Sexualities in the MENA Region: Undoing LGBTQI Categories. In this document, we compliment this extensive, research-led paper by setting out a number of concrete recommendations for practitioners, policy makers and activists from the region working to improve the situation facing, non-normative people commonly referred to as LGBTQI peoples. In light of the key challenges facing this group, which include sexual, physical and mental violence, economic marginalisation, homelessness, poor sexual health service provisions and, in instances of displacement, barriers to international protection, we stress the need for research to map on to practice. Click here for the full policy brief.

Conceptualising Sexualities in the MENA Region: Undoing LGBTQI Categories

Conceptualising Sexualities in the MENA Region

Conceptualising Sexualities in the MENA Region

There have been many attempts to address gender and sexual rights in the MENA region, a majority of which have focused on women’s empowerment and gender equality. More recently the rights of LGBTQI people have taken centre stage in development efforts and in the agendas of policy makers. This report highlights some major problems in the frameworks underpinning these efforts, despite their well-meant intentions. In this report, we shed light on the implications of adopting universalist LGBTQI identity categories within international humanitarian and development programming. Furthermore, this report highlights how LGBTQI identity categories often encourage tensions within and between communities, and even within communities of non-normative people, often undermining the space for change and collaboration on the one hand, and inclusivity on the other. This report also highlights the failure of international protection mechanisms to offer adequate support to those displaced due to non-normative sexual practices. The LGBTQI categories in case of applications for asylum is also problematized in this paper, as it has proven to be exclusionary to those at risk of SPGP violence but who do not necessarily identify as LGBTQI. Current international protection mechanisms have also to a great extent contributed to an image of a uniform LGBTQI identity, an identity that fits within stereotypes of non-normative people. Within these identities, there is a lack of tolerance for difference and an implication of uniformity that does not apply to all of the letters of the LGBTQI. Within this report there is also a country overview of the legal situation affecting LGBTQI people across the region. Click Here for the Full Report.

Inclusive HIV/AIDS Programming in the MENA Region: Policy Brief

Breaking Taboo through Grassroots Advocacy: Inclusive HIV/AIDS Programming in the MENA Region

Breaking Taboo through Grassroots Advocacy: Inclusive HIV/AIDS Programming in the MENA Region

Breaking Taboo through Grassroots Advocacy: Inclusive HIV/AIDS Programming in the MENA Region

The MENA region receives only a fraction of the total global funds directed toward HIV/AIDS projects. This is despite evidence that HIV/AIDS prevalence is rising in the region at much faster rates than anywhere else in the world, particularly among MSM, LGBT and other vulnerable groups such as women and children. This policy brief presents recommendations for HIV/AIDS prevention strategies in the MENA region to be more effective. The full policy brief can be accessed via this link: Inclusive HIV/AIDS Programming in the MENA Region: Policy Brief.

Call for Conference Papers: Politicised Sexualities, Marginalised Histories

CTDC is delighted to publish the call for papers for its second annual conference, under the title of ‘Politicised Sexualities, Marginalised Histories: A Conference on Sexuality in Southwest Asia and North Africa (SWANA)’. This conference is being collaboratively organised by the Centre for Transnational Development and Collaboration- CTDC and the Centre for Gender Studies at SOAS University of London. The conference will take place on March 25th, 2017 at Khalili Lecture Theatre at SOAS.

The conference will aim to address problems and challenges in relation to sexual rights in the SWANA region in particular, and the Global South in general, through scrutinising sexual identity politics and the historical development of sexual rights discourses. This one-day conference hopes to re-centre histories and presents in relation to sexuality and gender, exploring the transnational and trans-historical politics of sexual identity in the SWANA region, in an attempt to subvert the omnipresent narratives about LGBTQI people and marginalised groups from the SWANA seeking ‘safe havens’ in the Global North. Click here for the full call for papers.

CTDC welcomes submissions by activists, academics and practitioners in the field, individuals belonging to marginalised groups are especially encouraged to submit abstracts. We invite contributors to submit abstracts of no more than 300 words by January 29th 2017. Please send your abstract and your short biography to info@ctdc.org. Following the conference we hope to publish a selection of conference papers in an edited volume.

This conference is being collaboratively organised by the Centre for Transnational Development and Collaboration- CTDC and the Centre for Gender Studies at SOAS.