Intersectionality and Inclusion

Applying an intersectional lens to USAID’s work enables staff and partners to target those most affected by gender inequality and other forms of discrimination with more responsive strategies and approaches.

Central to the advancement of gender equality is the recognition that all individuals have multiple social identities shaping their lived experiences, including, but not limited to, their place in society, privileges they may or may not enjoy, the level and types of protection from human rights violations, and the impact of complex forms of discrimination. This intersectional analytical lens acknowledges that singular oppressions exist, but is primarily focused on the ways in which overlapping identities (sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, class, race, age, disability, nationality, etc.) interact with overlapping systems of oppression and/or discrimination and the need to address the impact these have on systemic privilege and access.  Rooted in feminist scholarship, intersectionality was originally focused on the ways in which gender and race interconnect. More recently, however, the concept of intersectionality has been applied across a range of social identities.  

USAID promotes a nondiscriminatory, inclusive, and integrated development approach that ensures that all people, including those who face discrimination and thus may have limited access to a country’s benefits, legal protections, or social participation, are fully included and can actively participate in and benefit from development processes and activities.  As part of this approach, USAID staff must ensure that programming identifies and addresses overlapping identities and systems of oppression, and their impact on access to rights and opportunities for women and girls, men and boys, and individuals of diverse gender identities.  This includes making certain that gender analyses required to shape all of USAID’s work incorporate an intersectional lens, as fundamental to quality and fulsome analysis.