Towards an intersectional praxis in international development: what can the sector learn from Black feminists located in the global North?

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This article is based on knowledge gained through more than two decades of established ways of working by Imkaan, a Black feminist ending-violence against women and girls organisation based in London. At the time of writing, both authors were employed at Imkaan. Imkaan’s work and existence is clearly grounded in ‘those who came before us’: in the herstories, activist struggles, and resistance movements of Black feminists across the globe. Our arguments and insights here are based on discussions and experience of feminists working in Imkaan and more widely in feminist movements in the UK and other countries and regions. From these, we distil lessons that are valuable to current discussions relating to re-imagining development. We critique the notion of ‘development’ itself, asking who and what is being ‘developed’, and by whom? We argue that an intersectional understanding of development is predicated upon ‘truth-telling’. This involves engaging with discomfort, being honest about our histories, understanding one’s positionality and power, and thinking about why we do the work that we do.