On the Mainstream Feminist Movement: Where are the Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Women With Disabilities?

The mainstream feminist movement in Nigeria has made significant strides in advocating for gender equality and addressing a wide range of issues affecting women. However, it has faced criticism for not always being fully inclusive of the diverse experiences and needs of all women, especially Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and disabled women. It’s important to note that the feminist movement is not monolithic, and there are many different feminist groups and perspectives. Here’s an overview of some of the issues related to the inclusion of LBTQ and disabled women in the mainstream feminist movement:

LGBTQ+ Inclusion:
The feminist movement is not as inclusive of LBTQ+ women, often focusing primarily on issues related to cisgender, heterosexual women.
In recent years, there has been a growing recognition of the importance of including and advocating for the rights and concerns of lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer women within the feminist movement however these concerns haven’t translated to real-life actions.
There is an urgent need for organizations and activists to actively work to address issues such as discrimination, violence, and healthcare disparities that LBTQ+ women face.

Disability Inclusion:
Women with disability have often been marginalized within both the feminist movement and the disability rights movement.
The feminist movement has not fully integrated the concerns and experiences of women with disabilities into their advocacy efforts.
Disability inclusion in the feminist movement requires addressing issues like accessibility, representation, and intersectionality. It involves recognizing that women with disabilities face unique forms of discrimination and oppression.

Efforts that needs to be made to address these gaps in the mainstream feminist movement:

Intersectionality: The feminist movement needs to embrace intersectionality, a framework that recognizes that individuals can face multiple forms of discrimination simultaneously (e.g., being a queer woman with disability). This approach would address the unique challenges faced by marginalized groups within the broader feminist movement.

Inclusive Policies: Feminist organizations need to actively work to create more inclusive policies and practices. This includes ensuring accessibility for persons with disability and advocating for LGBTQ+ rights.

Representation: Intentional efforts need to be made to ensure that the leadership and decision-making bodies of feminist organizations are diverse and representative of the full spectrum of women’s experiences.

Collaboration: Intersectional feminist approach needs to be adopted by LGBTQ+ and disability rights organizations to address shared goals and challenges.

In conclusion, while there have been historical shortcomings in the mainstream feminist movement’s inclusion of homosexual and disabled women, there is a growing need for these issues and a commitment to improving inclusivity. Feminism is a dynamic and evolving movement, and it continues to adapt to better represent and advocate for the rights and concerns of all women, regardless of their sexual orientation or disability status.

Written By: 
Akom is a Human rights and gender equality advocate he works in deploying effective solutions to challenge systemic social barriers that promote violence against women and sexual minorities, utilizing social and behavior change communication to improve SGBV knowledge, attitudes and practices in order to achieve equality and Inclusion. He is a Young Leader for the Sustainable Development Goals.
Akom is a 2020 ISIBINDI Change-Maker by Gateway Health Institute South Africa and  2021 Activist of The Year by Sanitise Africa Initiative.

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