‘Riding on the Waves of Progressive Political Environment’: the complex world of Gender, LGBT movement and development in Bangladesh

Tuesday October 15, 2019
12:30 PM - 1:45 PM

Light refreshments offered. 

Sexuality in general, and LGBT in particular are risky terms in the context of Bangladesh, a country that struggles to find its balance between tradition-modernisation-and increasing influence of religion on every level of citizens´ lives. The dominant discourse on sexuality and rights stays within the boundaries of reproductive health, marriage normativity and heteronormativity – and this is also applicable to development sector, which, made attempts to bring rights as a framework within this discourse around a decade ago by including LGBT issues, communities and activism in its agenda. The sexual politics of Bangladesh has experienced violent backlash in the recent years resulting is almost stalling of LGBT activism, visibility and incorporation in various development programs. This point of time, one must look back and analyse the complex world of gender and sexuality politics, especially in its connections and contexualisation within development – and how various elements and actors contributed to the almost collapse of a rights movement at a particular point in the country´s history. This talk will aim to make a historical account and analysis of gender, sexuality and rights issues in connection with LGBT movement and development field in Bangladesh between 2006 to 2016, and will try to understand the politics, progress and pitfalls of the process.

Bio: Dr. Shuchi Karim is a feminist academic and researcher from Bangladesh. She completed her PhD at the Institute of Social Studies (ISS), The Hague, The Netherlands in 2012, specializing in Women, Gender and Development with focus on sexualities. Karim had her first MA degree in English Language and Literature from Jawaharlal Nehru University, India; and her second MA from University of Warwick, UK, in Gender and International Development. Shuchi Karim’s career is a combination of development work, academia and activism. In recent years she worked at multiple academic and development institutions in the area of gender and sexual and reproductive health and rights, including the Institute of Educational Development of BRAC University (Bangladesh), the ISS, and Radboud University, Nijmegen, Netherlands. She is currently working at Western University (Women’s Studies and Feminist Research Department) as an Assistant Professor. Dr. Karim’s research areas include women’s rights, Sexuality, education and transnational feminism.

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