HEAR Intersectionality Research report

This fascinating new research looks at the impact on a person’s life of having multiple protected characteristics and presents case studies of VCS organisations in London that are working in this area, which is called intersectionality.

The research is funded by London Councils through the ‘London for All’ project.

HEAR, the equalities and human rights network for London, has launched the results of its ‘Intersections’ research this week ( 25th June 2014)

CAIA 1                                              Micro Rainbow 2                 IARS 2

Photo: Centre for Armenian Information and Advice               Photo: Micro Rainbow            Photo: Independent Academic Research Studies

As a network of mostly specialist equalities organisations, HEAR does not seek to work on single equalities issues, because its members are the experts, but HEAR works across all equalities strands on issues that impact on all groups and populations in London that may experience marginalisation, discrimination or denial of human rights

HEAR and its member organisations wanted to create a resource that would:

  • Showcase the work of London voluntary organisations and community groups large and small that seeks to support Londoners with intersecting aspects to their identity or experience
  • Examine both the more theoretical and policy based aspects of intersectionality and the everyday real lives of Londoners and the organisations that work with and support them
  • Generate more debate and action around intersectional issues and promote an intersectional approach across both the voluntary and public sector


LGCM 2                                             Nigerian women 2                               Mobility Help

Photo: Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement      Photo: Nigerian Org.for Women                 Photo: Mobility Help

What is Intersectionality?

By intersectionality we mean people’s identities and social positions being shaped by several factors at the same time, creating unique experiences and perspectives. These factors include among others sexuality, gender identity, race, disability, age, class, nationality, and faith. These identities and experiences can be changing and contradictory.

Intersectionality is a concept that can be used when thinking about complex social positions and identities. This might include thinking about identity and lived experiences of inequality or representation in art and media.

The concept of intersectionality holds that, for instance, one is not a lesbian and disabled, rather one is the combination of these at the same time, i.e. a disabled lesbian. These different elements form and inform each other. In this example one’s identity as a lesbian is formed by one’s identity as disabled, and vice versa; the two elements of identity cannot be separated, are not lived or experienced as separate

What is in the report?

Below you will find:

What did we ask?

  • How do the relevant characteristics (individual to each case, for example race and disability) impact on the individual when it comes to accessing services, life opportunities, facing discrimination?
  • How do support organisations work on these issues, what are the challenges and what are examples of good practice?
  • What wider social policy or legislative issues are currently having an impact?

Below is a list of contributing organisations and the main intersectional focus of their contribution. All contributions have been authored by the organisation concerned:

For more information about this project contact the HEAR Network Coordinator hear@reap.org.uk

If you need any of the documents in other formats please contact hear@reap.org.uk