A Decolonial Feminism to U.S. Humanitarian Policy in West Africa

Antonia L Jenkins, Fordham University


The present study discusses the relevance of decolonial feminism in challenging the status quo in the humanitarian aid-development nexus in West Africa. The colonial legacy of humanitarian policy has significantly impacted how gender equality and feminism are addressed in the region. Decolonial feminism aims to center the voices of the people that humanitarian aid organizations seek to help, creating a space for historically excluded individuals (Vergés F. 2021). In addition, this approach recognizes that gender, race, and class intersect in complex ways to shape the experiences of vulnerable and marginalized people, emphasizing the importance of long-term relationships based on mutual trust and respect. This topic is significant in humanitarian studies, given the need to prioritize the needs and well-being of affected communities, which are the same communities that the decolonial approach seeks to center. Moreover, the topic is relevant to the United Nations' call for action to reduce the gender gap in Sustainable Development Goal 5. One way to achieve this goal is by challenging the dominant power structure, focusing on marginalized perspectives, and prioritizing long-term, sustainable approaches to responding to crises and emergencies. Overall, decolonial feminism offers a way to address the colonial legacy of humanitarianism policy and promote gender equality and feminism in West Africa more inclusively and sustainably.

Subject Area

International Relations|Womens studies|Gender studies|African Studies|Public policy

Recommended Citation

Jenkins, Antonia L, "A Decolonial Feminism to U.S. Humanitarian Policy in West Africa" (2023). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI30489647.