Intersectional feminism: what it means and why it matters right now

From the disparate impacts of the COVID-19 crisis in communities around the globe to international protests against racism and discrimination, current events have shown that we are far from achieving equality. Trying to interpret and battle a multitude of injustices right now may feel overwhelming. How do we take on all these issues, and why should we? Intersectional feminism offers a lens through which we can better understand one another and strive towards a more just future for all.

Valdecir Nascimento. Photo: UN Women/Ryan Brown
Sonia Maribel Sontay Herrera. Photo: UN Women/Ryan Brown
Majandra Rodriguez Acha. Photo: UN Women/Amanda Voisard

The impacts of crises are not uniform.

Countries and communities around the world are facing multiple, compounding threats. While the sets of issues vary from place to place, they share the effect of magnifying pre-existing needs such as housing, food, education, care, employment, and protection.

Matcha Phorn-in. Photo: UN Women/Pathumporn Thongking.

Injustices must not go unnamed or unchallenged.

Looking through an intersectional feminist lens, we see how different communities are battling various, interconnected issues, all at once. Standing in solidarity with one another, questioning power structures, and speaking out against the root causes of inequalities are critical actions for building a future that leaves no one behind.

A new ‘normal’ must be fair for all.

Because crises lay bare the structural inequalities that shape our lives, they are also moments of big resets — catalysts for rebuilding societies that offer justice and safety to everyone. They provide a chance to redefine ‘normal’ rather than return to business as usual.

UN Women is the United Nations entity for #genderequality and women's empowerment.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store