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Using intersectionality in policymaking and analysis: Summary findings

A summary report which looks at what the concept of intersectionality concept means, and how it can be applied to policymaking and analysis, as well as providing a spotlight example.

What is meant by the concept of intersectionality?

The term ‘intersectionality’ is not yet in everyday usage, but awareness is growing. The concept has been used to articulate and analyse the lived reality of those who experience multiple inequalities, particularly within Black feminism. The analysis framework and term “intersectionality” was originally coined by American critical legal race scholar Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw in 1989, who used the term to refer the double discrimination of racism and sexism faced by Black women.

Based on this previous work the foundational elements of intersectionality can be understood as:

  • A recognition that people are shaped by their simultaneous membership of multiple interconnected social categories.
  • The interaction between multiple social categories occurs within a context of connected systems and structures of power (e.g. laws, policies, governments). A recognition of inequality of power is key to intersectionality.
  • Structural inequalities, reflected as relative disadvantage and privilege, are the outcomes of the interaction between social categories, power relations and contexts. As a result, an individual’s experiences of inequality can be chronic or transitory, creating unique lived experiences.

Using intersectionality in policymaking and analysis: Summary findings 13 page PDF 337.3 kB


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