Opportunities for Transformative Language in Feminist Approaches to Partnership

In many ways, the words we use create the reality we see. Words can communicate our biases and histories, and influence how we perceive our surroundings and the people with whom we interact. For several years, the Building Local Thinking Global (BLTG) coalition – a group of women’s rights networks and their member organizations from Asia, East Africa, and the Middle East – has discussed how power hierarchies are shaped and reinforced by language used within the humanitarian sector. This paper, developed through consultations with BLTG members, seeks to explore language and power hierarchies within humanitarian aid, and the impact of language on relationships between different groups, with the goal of identifying new language that is inclusive and empowering, and promotes equality.

Resource Info

Resource Type

Background Paper


Published by

International Rescue Committee (IRC)


Anti-racism and Decoloniality
Humanitarian Sectors