Exploring Intersectional Gender Architecture - the NACWG's Annual Topic in 2020


In 2020 the NACWG’s annual topic was ‘Creating an Intersectional Gender Architecture’. Due to the coronavirus pandemic we pivoted to a completely digital strategy and therefore created this web page to explore the issues with our circle, and all participation was digital.

 

What do we mean by ‘intersectionality’?

Intersectionality is a framework for understanding how multiple categories of identity (such as gender, race and class) interact in ways that create complex systems of oppression and power. Intersectionality is relevant to all. We all have intersectional parts that make us, us. The NACWG’s focus is women and girls.

Here’s a short video from NACWG co-chairs Dr Ima Jackson and Louise Macdonald talking about our 2020 topic.

No, intersectionality is not a replacement for the word ‘diversity’ and should not be used as such. Having a diverse range of people from all backgrounds in a room and diverse minds making decisions is incredibly important. But intersectionality is more about: assessing how the decisions in the room are made; what these decisions are; whether critical analysis of systems and multiple discriminations is taking place; and (because our focus is women and girls) consideration on how women who are at the precipice of these discriminations are likely to be impacted by the decision.

Intersectional thinking and analysis can also contribute to people from diverse backgrounds getting into the room to make the decisions in the first place.

Here’s a short video of NACWG member Talat Yaqoob talking about intersectionality at a Circle event in 2019.

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Talat Yaqoob at the March 2019 Circle Session

 

Many of you asked for her slides following her talk and she instead wrote a paper, which she thought would be more helpful – you can access that paper here [PDF].

Intersectionality infographic

What does ‘gender architecture’ mean for me and Scotland?

The ‘gender architecture’ of a country consists of the governance structures put in place to tackle gender inequality and discrimination. During 2020, the NACWG explored the governance structures through a gendered intersectionality lens. 

The Scottish Government compiled a report on Gender Architecture to help explain the term and define what it means for Scotland. You can read the report here [PDF].

Conducted in partnership with Engender, NACWG members Emma Ritch and Dr. Ima Jackson discussed our 2020 annual topic. You can access it below or on Engender’s website here and a transcript of this episode is available here.

Webinars Exploring our Annual Topic

The NACWG invited four scholars, experts in gender, to delve deeper into our annual topic of Creating an Intersectional Gender Architecture.

The four webinars are presented collectively. Time stamps as well as additional materials from the presentations, are listed below:

 

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Can I participate in this topic?

The NACWG’s exploration of Creating an Intersectional Gender Architecture has now closed and they published their 2020 Report and Recommendations on this in January 2021. If you are not a Circle member and would like to participate in future work with the NACWG, you can request Circle membership here.

Want to know more? Further reading

Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race, Reni Eddo-Lodge
On Intersectionality: Essential Writings, Kimberlé Crenshaw
Women, Race and Class, Angela Davis
• Intersectionality, Patricia Hill Collins and Sirma Bilge