Even in an unprecedented crisis that touches everyone in some way, the most vulnerable communities and individuals are always exposed to harsher realities – something the experience of the Covid-19 pandemic showed. While delivering services in a critical time of need, difficult questions around power dynamics and systemic inequalities were obvious. For example, during the first lockdown of 2020, only seven per cent of men lost their jobs, compared to 47 per cent of women. During the past two years, as the problems have been exacerbated, especially for the already marginalized – philanthropic organizations have had to do a lot more with limited resources. Currently, as India is emerging from the pandemic, we are at a critical inflection point, where philanthropy has an opportunity to become strategic by applying the approach of intersectionality.Deepa Pawar & Ami Misra
The importance of intersectionality
Intersectionality may be seen as a concept that cannot be easily distilled, but at its core, it is a recognition that no individual, organisation, or community can be summarised into one identity. The concept can be understood intuitively if we reflect by asking the simple question: does who we are affecting how we live our lives? Our circumstances and experiences are an amalgamation of multiple identities that intertwine, overlap, and interact with one another. While some of us may identify as women, we will also be affected by our caste, disability, religion, ethnicity, language, and other specifics.