Your Struggle is My Struggle: Integrating intersectionality in work with lesbian women, bisexual women and trans-women in Zimbabwe | Intersectionality | Gender

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This paper presents the work of Voice of the Voiceless (VOVO), a civil society organization based in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe and development partner of Oxfam. VOVO is working to integrate intersectionality in its work with lesbian women, bisexual women and trans-women (LBT). This work highlights the importance of using intersectional awareness to build bridges and form alliances in an effort to challenge the status quo in a country marred by a serious erosion of women's rights. However, the lessons learned from this experience challenge the conjuncture of identity politics and intersectionality, which is both essential yet problematic. 
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     YOUR STRUGGLE IS MY STRUGGLE INTEGRATING INTERSECTIONALITY IN WORK WITH LESBIAN WOMEN, BISEXUAL WOMEN AND TRANS-WOMEN IN ZIMBABWE SIAN MASEKO AND SAMMANTHA NDLOVU OXFAM INTERSECTIONALITY SERIES     Oxfam America 2   COVER:   VOVO members dance in the streets of Bulawayo, t-shirts emblazoned with the message: 'Women who are not afraid to use the F-word - FEMINISM'.    | Oxfam America 1 CONTENTS Contents……………………………………………………………………………….… 1   Foreword…………………………………………………………………………………2   Introduction………………………………………………………………………………4   Findings…………………………………………………………………………………..5   Conclusion……………………………………………………………………………...1 1    Oxfam America 2 FOREWORD On March 23-24, 2015, representatives from Oxfam affiliates and partners assembled on the Simmons College campus in Boston, Massachusetts. In a rare opportunity, gender experts and development practitioners donned their student hats to deep-dive into the topic of Intersectionality, an area of academic thought and feminist theory that is evolving into an ever-growing body of development discourse. The event was co-sponsored by Oxfam America, Oxfam Novib, and Oxfam Intermon, in close partnership with the Center for Gender in Organizations at the Simmons School of Management. Not just a learning space, the Symposium was also a conduit for the generation of knowledge. The centerpiece of discussions was a series of practice papers, authored by Oxfam staff and partners, which explore the issue of Gender and Intersectionality within the broader context of international development work. The intention is to share Oxfam’s experience in  Gender and Intersectionality with a wide audience in hopes of fostering thoughtful debate and discussion. Oxfam America extends special thanks to all staff and partners who participated in the Symposium and who shared their expertise through these practice papers. We acknowledge the contribution of the advisory and planning committees, particularly of Sandra Sotelo Reyes (Intermon), Carmen Reinoso (Novib), Muthoni Muriu (Oxfam America), Patricia Deyton (CGO), Alivelu Ramisetty (Oxfam America), Maria Ezpeleta (Oxfam America), Eloisa Devietti (Oxfam  America) and Lauren Walleser (CGO). We also recognize the support of Caroline Sweetman and Liz Cooke (Oxfam Great Britain) who made possible the publication of a special virtual issue of Gender & Development, Intersecting Inequalities , (http://explore.tandfonline.com/page/bes/cgde-vsi-intersectionality). Finally, we thank Irene Munoz (Oxfam International) and Aileen Charleston (Oxfam America) for their collaboration on communications .
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