Intersectionality refers to how marginalized identities overlap and interact with one another. It creates an understanding of how intersections of these identities create challenges for those people who experience them. In class we discussed that recognizing that intersectionality exists and is real has an important impact on inclusive sustainable development. Recognizing that these intersectionalities exist make them and the people that experience them more visible which is integral to inclusivity. It also has the potential to, and should, inform policies and strategies related to the Sustainable Development Agenda so that they are taking into account and including intersectionality.
The United Nations Major Groups Framework is something that I discussed in my blog post about the High Level Political Forum (HLPF). I mentioned how this framework which informs the Major Groups and Other Stakeholders High Level Political Forum Coordination Mechanism is a positive thing because members of disadvantaged groups such as women and indigenous peoples are given a voice in the HLPF. However, it is important to note that the Major Groups Framework is not perfect, and while it does have the intention of giving a voice to disadvantaged groups, there is still work that needs to be done especially as intersectionality is concerned. For example, women are a group that are marginalized, and it is important for them to be included in the conversation on sustainable development. However, women with disabilities are grouped into this category and there is therefore not enough visibility given to them because the focus is on women’s issues in general.
As we discussed in class this week, the Major Groups Framework is not sufficient in addressing intersectionalities that exist amongst people who hold multiple marginalized identities. Therefore, there should be a strategy to get the major groups framework to take on intersectionality. The argument that there should be a separate coalition to address intersectionality is a strong one, and I believe that this is an essential step to giving intersectionality the attention it deserves. This goes back to the discussion we had in our first class about Grand Challenges- the grand challenge of disability and development cannot be overcome without collaboration and inclusion of all.