SDP and feminist theory

Authored by: Mary G. McDonald

Routledge Handbook of Sport for Development and Peace

Print publication date:  September  2018
Online publication date:  October  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138210486
eBook ISBN: 9781315455174
Adobe ISBN:


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In this chapter, I apply a postcolonial feminist lens to shed light upon the complicated state of feminist and women-center sport for development and peace (SDP) approaches and projects within post-World War II development agendas. Far from an exhaustive account, I highlight three examples of research that critically examine notions of ‘empowerment’ differently mobilized in SDP settings, cases that clearly show limitations of the Northern/Western development representations and programming agendas. These SDP accounts – scholarly narratives about an Ugandan martial arts program, NGO Right to Play’s HIV/AIDS education strategies, and Nike’s Girl Effect – are situated knowledges, written mainly by scholars from the global North. As such these examples do not say all that can be said regarding postcolonial feminism contributions, nor is postcolonial feminism the only suitable lens that may be used to interrogate development practices. Rather this dialogue seeks to apply a feminist lens to promote the decolonization of SDP knowledge and practices, and encourages further research, critique, and revision.

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