Intersectional work in West Africa needs intersectional funding to match

Rosalie Nezien and Rebecca Reeve

Most funders have a niche – any website of public and private philanthropies alike will highlight the region, issue, or criteria that its philanthropy works on. But the issues facing many of us today are too complex for a niche. They call for an intersectional approach.

Foundation for a Just Society explores how intersectional work being done by feminist and LGBTQI activists to address the interconnectedness of global crises currently playing out in the Sahel region of West Africa can offer a blueprint for a new funding ecosystem.

Many of the most prevalent issues in West Africa are rooted in global phenomena and systems. While funders may be stuck working in regional or thematic silos, feminist and LGBTQI activists across the Sahel and West Africa region are building impressive coalitions and movements that are taking on these global challenges with comprehensive and intersectional analyses, and working to elevate and support those most affected in their region – all the while working in partnership with other movements to get there.

The challenges facing the region are many, but the organising being done to combat these challenges is stronger. The funders that support this work need to be ready to transcend thematic and regional silos and build a multi-tiered and responsive funding ecosystem that is ready to boldly and flexibly fund the intersectional organising work that West African feminist and LGBTQI activists are leading.

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