Exploring Intersectional Gender Architecture in 2020

In 2020 the NACWG’s annual topic is ‘Exploring an Intersectional Gender Architecture’. This web page helps us all dive deeper into the issues of intersectionality and gender architecture.

Below are two expandable sections (or two sections that expand) that contain content to explore our annual topic. They will be added to over the next few months.


First things first, 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.

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 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.

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Here’s a short video of NACWG member Talat Yaqoob talking about intersectionality at the Circle event last March.

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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].

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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 are exploring the governance structures through a gendered intersectionality lens. We warmly welcome your input, expertise and/or lived experience to help guide us as we explore our 2020 topic.

The Scottish Government have 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 discuss our 2020 annual topic exploring creating an Intersectional Gender Architecture. You can listen to it below or on Engender’s website here and access a transcript of this episode here.

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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. Each were provided with the same set of questions to consider when preparing for the webinars and we have four different approaches. 

You can find a single video below for the four webinars collectively. Time stamps for each of these webinars as well as additional materials from the presentations are listed below:


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How can I participate in this year’s topic?

The NACWG’s exploration of Creating an Intersectional Gender Architecture has now closed. If you are not a Circle member and would like to participate in future work with the NACWG, you can request Circle membership.


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