Intersectionality and events
Intersectionality, or an ‘intersectional approach’ is an inclusive way to reference how different aspects of a person’s identity can expose them to overlapping and interconnected forms of discrimination and marginalisation. The Victorian Government currently leads the nation on intersectionality and its place in Government.[i]
An intersectional approach considers barriers to equitable experience in society such as:
- gender inequality:
- socio-economic status
- gender identity
- education level
- criminal history
- migration or refugee status
and considers how these experiences can affect an individual.
Why it is important
Understanding the diverse and often intersecting experiences of South Australian community members is important when organising events. Demonstrating empathy and putting yourself into the shoes of others who have diverse experiences can assist in thinking about how to accommodate needs others may have, which you have not personally experienced a need for.
Community members’ personal examples
Andrew lives with disability and uses an electric wheelchair which is both wide and heavy. Andrew struggles to find information on the width of doorways, whether venues have accessible toilets and information on whether venues have stairs or ramps. Not knowing these details often means Andrew feels uncomfortable going to events, as once he arrives, he may realise that he is unable to enter the venue.
Rima is a migrant from Jordan. Rima speaks conversational English but struggles with the broader English language structure. Rima was born female and identifies as a woman and she also identifies as LGBTIQA+. It is likely that Rima experiences oppression at the intersections of race, language ability, culture, gender and sexual orientation. Being aware of Rima’s experiences, and anticipating her needs at events is taking an intersectional approach. Rima may require translation support at events or may need to be reassured that the event she attends is a safe space for women and LGBTIQA+ people.
[i] Victorian Government 2021, Understanding intersectionality