News from the Campus

Addressing intersectional identities enables inclusive approach in training, according to report

22 December 2017

The Final Report about the Virtual Dialogue on Intersectionality is now available

The UN Women Training Centre is pleased to present the Final Report of its latest Virtual Dialogue on Intersectionality in Training for Gender Equality. This Report presents an analytical synthesis of the discussions during the 11th Virtual Dialogue held by the Training Centre’s Community of Practice (CoP), raising issues for further debate on intersectionality in training for gender equality.

The Virtual Dialogue engaged 108 participants through its Webinar and forum discussion, drawn from 44 countries – including 3 expert Webinar panelists: Athena-Maria Enderstein, Research Fellow GRACE Project, Italy; Kirthi Jayakumar, Director of the Red Elephant Foundation, India; and Sam Rankin, Intersectional Equalities Coordinator, Equality Network, UK.

The Report highlights discussions around what intersectionality means for training for gender equality, why it is important and how it can be addressed in training initiatives. Virtual Dialogue participants affirmed that intersectionality is a pivotal concept for training for gender equality. It is both about people’s multiple identities and the interconnected oppressions we face, as well as the approaches we use to address these issues. “Intersectionality is not about a dry version of identity politics”, says Virtual Dialogue panellist Athena-Maria Enderstein, “it’s about vulnerability, power and privilege.”

Participants stressed that intersectionality matters in training for gender equality because addressing intersectional identities helps to create diverse, inclusive spaces and approaches that give us room to think about power, privilege and oppression. This also enables a more transformative, participatory and inclusive approach in training.

Employing an intersectional approach in training for gender equality, the Report finds, takes form through praxis – i.e. in the practical application of training for gender equality. “I believe in holistic and participative methodologies, where you put people first,” says Tomasa Ravines, a participant in the Virtual Dialogue forum discussion. “As a trainer I need to learn constantly and evaluate my work, especially […with] the trainees, using [an] intersectional approach.”

The Virtual Dialogue (watch complete recording) shed light on the complexities of adopting an intersectional approach in training, alongside the ways in which training can address intersectionality across the training cycle – from the design and planning stages, through to implementation. Examples of useful training activities abounded, as did debates on future steps – enabling us to make intersectionality part and parcel of training for gender equality, towards ever more transformative training worldwide.