Intersectionality in sustainable development essentially looks at how “different sets of identities impact access to rights and opportunities” (Intersectionality: A Tool for Gender and Economic Justice 1). For example, a woman of color may face different challenges as opposed to the challenges faced by a white male with a hearing impairment. When looking at the stakeholder groups outlined by the SDGs (Women, Children and Youth, Indigenous Peoples, Non-Governmental Organizations, Local Authorities, Workers, and Trade Unions
Business and Industry, Scientific and Technological Community, Farmers), it would not be uncommon for there to be intersectionalities between the overlapping issues faced by these groups. For example, members of the scientific and technological community who are also women may face similar issues such as in receiving funds for project developments. Thus it is important for the international community to understand that in addressing the inequalities that are faced by certain stakeholder groups, new policies or development projects may also end up benefiting other stakeholder groups whose development problems may intersect. Furthermore, there are other stakeholder groups that are not mentioned above, such as persons with disabilities, whom would also likely experience challenges similar to those faced by the groups outlined by the SDGs. In addressing the challenges of the various stakeholder groups, development goals will be more holistic in their scope and extent of beneficiaries that are targeted.
With education being one of the primary goals targeted by the SDGs, improvement in the quality and access of education for all persons would be beneficial, for example, for persons with disabilities whose education programs may have previously neglected addressing the unique challenges faced by the individual, as well as may also benefit the progressive goal of female empowerment in making education more accessible to females, thus enabling them with more economic and social mobilization capabilities, in turn promoting the greater productivity that many communities are in need of in order to nurture a more inclusive and environment with generally higher quality of living standards.
The realization of intersectionality in sustainable development goals will allow for the global community to plan for projects in a way that is inclusive in addressing all challenges met between various stakeholder groups. Additionally, it is important for policy makers to empower previously neglected stakeholder groups, such as pwds, with a more powerful voice in expressing grievances and the changes they wish to see in development goals and development plans, in order to address them and increase all member’s of society’s capabilities for success.