China’s interactions with the Global South have been the subject of much attention and study from both inside and outside the country. Yet issues of gender and sexuality have been largely ignored. What are the gender and sexuality impacts of China’s foreign investment, and are they any better or worse than those of other countries?
In its development support to other Global South countries, will China repeat mistakes of gender blindness and sex negativity of other development cooperation, or will it learn from these experiences? How do gender and sexuality figure in the Chinese government’s international relations? Research is lacking on each of these questions, and no comprehensive answers can be given. However, a number of small scale initiatives and players are beginning to work on these intersections, and their thinking and experiences throws some light on these questions.
Susan Jolly has worked on issues of gender and sexuality in the Ford Foundation’s Beijing office since joining the Foundation in 2010. Her areas of responsibility now include: integrating a gender and sexuality perspective into Ford Foundation programming; facilitating exchange and learning between Ford Foundation and Chinese foundations and other philanthropic organizations; supporting relationship building between Chinese organizations and their peers in the global South.
Previously, Susie together with Andrea Cornwall co-founded the Sexuality and Development Programme in the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) at the University of Sussex. From 1994 to 1998, she lived in Beijing, working on poverty reduction for the United Nations Development Programme. In 2000 she was awarded an MPhil in development studies, with distinction, at IDS. She earned her undergraduate degree at Oxford University and undertook further study at China Women’s University in Beijing. She has published widely on gender, sexuality and development.
Read her blog piece on the topic: Why gender and sexuality are central to China’s relationships with the Global South
Image credit: Ford Foundation