Intersectionality

Intersectionality

This toolkit contains resources to support you in applying an intersectional approach in your work:

 
  • Assessing legislation
  • Representing constituents
  • Promoting women's leadership
 

to achieve sustainable development and substantive equality - focused on achieving equal opportunities by addressing invisible discrimination.

As a legislator, you are elected to represent citizens with diverse needs impacted by power imbalances and discrimination that are rooted in gender, in addition to age, sexuality, ethnicity, religion and other social identities

An intersectional approach to parliamentary work involves considering invisible privileges when assessing legislation, when managing debts, and when empowering women - to build inclusive societies and equitably represent all citizens.

Intersectionality

This toolkit contains resources to support you in applying an intersectional approach in your work:

 
  • Assessing legislation
  • Representing constituents
  • Promoting women's leadership
 

to achieve sustainable development and substantive equality - focused on achieving equal opportunities by addressing invisible discrimination.

As a legislator, you are elected to represent citizens with diverse needs impacted by power imbalances and discrimination that are rooted in gender, in addition to age, sexuality, ethnicity, religion and other social identities

An intersectional approach to parliamentary work involves considering invisible privileges when assessing legislation, when managing debts, and when empowering women - to build inclusive societies and equitably represent all citizens.

Statistics

IS THE GLOBAL AVERAGE OF PARLIAMENTARY SEATS HELD BY WOMEN
IS THE AVERAGE SHARE OF PARLIAMENTARY SEATS HELD BY WOMEN IN THE CARIBBEAN
OF ENGLISH-SPEAKING CARIBBEAN COUNTRIES HAVE A NATIONAL YOUTH POLICY
  1. (2014) Source
  2. (2014) Source
  3. Youth unemployment rates range between 18 percent and 47 percent – with some notable exceptions like in Trinidad and Tobago where it rests at 10 percent. Female youth are more likely to be unemployed than their male counterparts. (2016) Source

Intersectionality is a framework that recognises that different systems of inequality overlap and operate simultaneously.

Women’s realities are shaped not only by gender but also other social identities. A law aiming to improve women’s access to health care will have a different impact on women from privileged and marginalized backgrounds.

When responding to development challenges facing Caribbean states and their citizens, legislators must recognize that women and girls, and men and boys are heterogeneous groups. Diversity of perspectives, especially in political leadership, also support the likelihood of adopting inclusive and transformational solutions.

These tools provide further information on why an intersectional approach is essential to narrowing the gender gap and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the Caribbean:

You can promote transformative, sustainable change by ensuring that intersectional interests – and discrimination – are considered when assessing legislation.

Imagine you are reviewing a bill to build a highway that will lower the cost and increase accessibility of essential goods and services. Which segments of society stand to gain or lose from this initiative? Would the interests of men and women differ? What about the interests of women residing in urban and rural areas? Or women who work in the formal and informal economy?

These tools can help you apply an intersectional lens to the review of legislation and determine what further information you need:

There is growing evidence that a critical mass of women around the decision making table results in greater allocation of resources to policies benefiting a broader cross-section of society.

In the political realm, the Caribbean region has made important strides in the empowerment of women. Temporary Special Measures (TSMs) – like quotas or voluntary measures in political parties – have been adopted in some countries to address systemic barriers to women’s leadership.

These tools present strategies to scale up women’s political leadership to support inclusive legislatures and public policies that benefit constituents of diverse backgrounds and identities:

Did You Know?

All Caribbean countries have committed to protecting and ensuring equal rights for women through the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).

To assist parliamentarians in monitoring these and other commitments, UN Women has developed an online database with information on the status of gender equality – including links to framework legislation and key statistics disaggregated by sex – for each country in the Caribbean.

Good Practices

The following practices have been submitted by parliamentarians and related stakeholders, and describe techniques that can be applied to:

Promote political participation or policy-making that accounts for women’s different backgrounds and experiences (i.e., “intersectional” approach that considers gender in addition to age, race, ethnicity, income, sexuality, religion, geography, etc.)

Intersectionality
Beverly Castillo
Belize
In developing policies, structures, and codes we should be gender neutral to ensure debate does not shift towards male or female but creates a balance for mutual respect and opportunities for all persons.
Intersectionality
Robyn Lynes
The Bahamas
Create legislation that encourages political parties to increase the number of women who are given an opportunity to run for office and promote education in civil society about the importance and benefits of women in leadership.
Intersectionality
Monell Williams
Dominica
CARICOM and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) have model legislation that can assist with gender-sensitive drafting of bills.

Check Yourself

Flash Quiz Time! Revisit key aspects of this toolkit with a short, self-guided quiz. These multiple-choice questions are intended for personal knowledge review and responses are anonymous. Go ahead and challenge yourself.

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