Anne-Sophie Lois, UN Representative in Geneva and New York for Plan International and member of the Global Board of IGC, recently conducted a workshop for the network on integrating an intersectional approach our IGC Commitments. In this interview, she shares her thoughts on the topic.
Why is this an important topic for Plan International?
At Plan International, we are striving to integrate feminist principles into everything we do. We believe that a truly gender-transformative approach is incomplete if we look at gender in isolation from other factors of a person’s identity. For us, as an organisation working for the advancement of the rights of children and young people, and in particular of girls and young women, the age dimension is particularly important. How are girls and young women, by virtue of both their age and gender, facing a double burden of discrimination?
In addition to this, however, there are so many other aspects that impact girls’ or women’s experience of privilege or discrimination: religion, ability, sexual orientation, ethnicity. We are convinced that in order to achieve gender equality for every girl and woman in all her diversity, leaving no one behind, we must consider all of these aspects of social identity and how they intersect and interact.
What inspired you to bring this issue to the IGC network?
The International Gender Champions network, in the 5 years since it was founded, has driven deep and lasting changes both within organisations and in their external engagements. We, the leaders that are part of this network, have a strong voice and can help our sector push the envelope on gender equality. As a network, we can set new standards for how our peers can and should address gender-based discrimination.
How can Champions integrate intersectionality in their 2021 commitments?
Together with the IGC Secretariat, we published a short 2-page guidance providing concrete tips on how to take an intersectional approach to your commitments. It proposes a series of questions to ask yourself as you analyse the issue you seek to address through your commitments. We suggest you use the threefold criteria of age, gender and diversity as a barometer against which to check that you have considered multiple factors in drafting your commitments.
We invite all Champions to make 2021 the year where our commitments are bolder, stronger and deeper commitments to make sure no one is left behind in our work.
You can reach out to the IGC Secretariat at firstname.lastname@example.org for more support and guidance on this.
Watch: Bolder, Stronger, Deeper Commitments: Workshop on Intersectionality