The projects

The program supported twelve organizations to carry out projects with an intersectional approach to reducing inequalities. With their deep understanding of and engagement with intersectionality, the partners provide insights into innovative and impactful approaches to reducing inequalities. The selected projects represent a diverse spectrum of organizations, located in all parts of the world, and focusing on various intersections of inequality, from race, gender and migration to climate change and technology; thus showing the breadth, scope and potential of applying intersectionality across different regional and thematic contexts.  Building on the knowledge gained through their individual projects, partners also shared and reflected collectively on their experiences with intersectional practice through facilitated learning exchanges, which aimed to distill and share lessons and practices more broadly.

World map based on Peters Projection
Inspired by FRIDA

The world is upside down and looks distorted? This map is based on the Hobo-Dyer Projection, which presents countries in their true proportion to one another, places the Global South at the top and is Pacific-centered  an invitation to change the perspective on the world. In the highlighted regions, the Foundation supports projects that want to reduce inequality with an intersectional approach.

Learn more about the supported projects:

Migrant and diverse women promoting change in Spain

Migrant women in Spain face discrimination and racism due to their position as migrants, as well as because of their gender, age, nationality, social class, residency status, and occupation. Migrant women are, and will continue to be, among those most seriously affected by the pandemic. Even though they experience these interconnected forms of oppression, migrant women find the strength to organize themselves and raise their voices thus sharing knowledge, agency, strength, and solidarity. However, they face considerable obstacles in doing so, including scarcity of resources, such as finances, access to training, political influence, and time to conduct their organizing/community-building work. 

The project of the Calala Women’s Fund addressed this situation by supporting migrant women groups with an intersectional approach. The project strengthened the migrant and racialized women’s movement in Spain in a number of ways. It enabled intergenerational collaboration and collective self-awareness by facilitating the movement’s own process to build its genealogy collectively. It improved economic resources and capacities through training/exchanges and by providing grants through a participatory grantmaking process. By undergoing an internal reflection process on intersectionality and anti-racism, Calala Women’s Fund also strengthened its own perspective and practices in relation to intersectionality and anti-racism.These experiences are described in an article published in Alliance magazine in December 2022 "A decolonial journey in philanthropy".

Through generating new capacities and alliances, the project strengthened migrant and racialized women’s groups beyond the project itself, producing a multiplier effect both in relation to the groups themselves and in relation to other stakeholders in the philanthropic community.

Tackling the race-class divide: An intersectional narrative for the working class

Many societies are currently experiencing a divisive public discourse that falsely separates race and class and pits them against each other. This division gets to the heart of community tensions in many countries today, including the United Kingdom, where the Centre for Labour & Social Studies (CLASS) is based. Certain narratives about the working class have resulted in toxic divisions, including backlashes against the Black Lives Matter movement and the rise of Far Right political parties. These narratives also lead to less support for redistribution policies that benefit the whole working class. Inequality cannot be tackled without new and unifying stories about the working class.

CLASS’s project aimed to address this acute and growing problem and generate solutions to bring people together through a narrative-led approach. The project developed and disseminated a new, inclusive class narrative that demonstrates the intersectional experience of race and class and promotes solidarity. It did so by building from the grassroots up, listening to working class communities – especially those with intersectional experiences – and building a new set of frames, real life stories and metaphors. The project generated policy recommendations, messaging guides, and "The UK Race Class Narrative Report" for researchers and organisations to broaden their understanding of best intersectional practice when working with working class communities.

Ultimately, the project aims to shift the discourse on the UK working class to reflect its intersectional nature, to unite people and to forge common bonds. CLASS aspires to use the findings to resonate and act as a case study for other countries and communities facing similar divisions, particularly across Europe and the US.

Advancing Intersectional, Survivor-Centric Legal, Policy and Tech Solutions to Technology-Facilitated Gender Violence

As technology-enabled gender based violence (TGBV) rises globally, it is crucial to develop responses that take an intersectional, survivor-centric approach. Yet, there are key gaps across policy, technology and research that result in a failure to meet survivors’ needs, and often cause further exploitation. Survivors often describe how systems of justice retraumatize them, while technology platforms are not designed in coordination with survivors and fail to center their lived experiences. By not accounting for individual agency, intersecting forms of oppression, and the plurality of experience, technology platforms only compound the harm and fail to effectively meet the needs of those impacted the most. Extractive research and data collection processes, and algorithmic bias constitute additional structural problems that require systemic change.

Through this project, Chayn and End Cyber Abuse want to empower policymakers with guidance on intersectional, trauma-informed, survivor-centred responses to TGBV. Orbits is a global field guide that explains the intersections between TGBV and public policy, presents design principles, and offers a roadmap for policy creation. It also highlights the importance of responsible data, showing what data can pose harm to women, as well as the impact of gender-disaggregation and data minimalism. Furthermore, it discusses meaningful co-creation practices, sharing practical ways how co-creation can be done with survivors and how to partner with people, which are marginalized because of their identities. It also gives advice on cultivating survivor leadership.

Read the Orbits principles for tackling TGBV in tech, research and policy, and the Orbits field guide.

Ultimately, Chayn and End Cyber Abuse wish to see systemic change to better meet the needs of survivors’ with diverse identities and in different contexts. This includes well-designed laws that apply an intersectional lens, availability of alternatives for survivors who have experienced harm at the hands of the criminal legal system and training to help avoid victim-blaming and more sensitive, trauma-informed legal support. It also includes better technology design and non-extractive research.

Towards the application of an intersectional approach in economic policies in Aguascalientes, Mexico

In Mexico, several associations, academics, and even Mexican legislation, have expressed the importance of intersectionality as a practice required in the policy process to enhance inclusiveness and access to services provided by the government. But the discourse on intersectionality is not translated into public policies seeking to reduce inequalities; they fail to take into account the various realities, experiences, and identities that members of certain groups have and, thus, change the outcome of the implementation process. This further relates to civil servants who can be unaware of their own privileges and prejudices, often preventing people in need to access the benefits of a program. Consequently, not all of the members of the intended target group benefit from governmental support.

Cultivando Género (CG) aimed to improve access to public services for all citizens from an intersectional perspective. CG believes that strengthening the abilities and capacities of public servants is key to ensuring the delivery of services according to intersectional practice and the highest human rights standards. Thus, CG worked together with governmental agencies responsible for economic policy in Aguascalientes (Mexico) by giving workshops and courses from an intersectional perspective. CG conducted a monitoring and follow-up of public policies outside of the classic paradigms of indicators and explored an evaluation approach with ethnographic methods to generate a better understanding of and sensitivity towards the needs of the communities. Based on these experiences, they produced a Guide to Intersectionality - a comprehensive resource that facilitates self-reflection, understanding and awareness of the factors and characteristics that place people on an unequal footing vis-à-vis others.

Ultimately, Cultivando Género aims to increase awareness of intersectionality, both in local goverment and within civil society.

Ground-up reflections on intersectional practice to make visible India’s poor Migrant Women Workers

In India, migration is considered a key driver for women’s economic empowerment due to the opportunities it opens up. However, the availability of work in India is determined by one’s location in the socio-economic hierarchy; this especially puts migrant women workers (MWWs), who comprise 70% of the total internal migrants in India, in a dire situation. MWWs experiences are thus layered by the intersections of their location, socio-demographic, intra-household dynamics, caste, class, livelihood sector, and gender identity. MWWs are both gatekeepers of these intersections as well as subject to the resultant inequities. For example, the socio-economic structure relegates women from lower castes to do underpaid sanitation work, which is stigmatized for upper castes. Intersectionality is key to begin the conversation on MWWs distinct profiles and realities and the multitude of vulnerabilities that disempower them. Despite the overwhelming evidence of the complex impact that these dynamics play out, there is little know-how on integrating these intersectional elements in non-profit programs. 

Dasra engaged in an immersive and reflective learning journey with NGOs who champion and showcase the powerful impact of using intersectional approaches in addressing the issues of MWWs. They facilitated a process of reflection and cross-learning and intersectional practice to harness their insights and experiences, which have been codified as actionable best practices that can be replicated in the migration and other allied sectors to increase knowledge on poor migrant women at all levels. Focusing on the subjective lived experiences of poor migrant women workers has revealed the interlinkages among the personal, domestic, public, and professional domains that affect them.

The ultimate goal for Dasra is for the co-created knowledge to be amplified among relevant stakeholders like policymakers and funders, and to advocate the importance of using intersectional approaches for addressing the marginalization of vulnerable groups like MWWs. Their work and findings were published online under the title "Making Visible ​Poor Migrant Women Workers".

Deepening grant-making practices to support and enhance intersectional environmental justice movements

Humanity is facing a series of interconnected crises – climate change, migration, conflicts, and COVID-19. These crises lay bare the impacts of economic, social, and racial inequalities, and exacerbate them. Many of the proposed solutions continue to privilege the few and do not take into consideration the various interacting social factors that affect human lives, chief among them identities and locations. Intersectional movements, especially those led by the most marginalized in the most affected areas, are more necessary than ever to draw attention to these connections, confront and disrupt the perpetuation of failing systems, and shift them toward a new, more resilient, just, and greener equilibrium.

In this context, for their project with the Support Program, Global Greengrants Fund UK built on their existing intersectional grant-making and deepened their current practice. Their priorities were to better understand the intersecting inequalities faced and tackled by grassroots environmental justice movements, so that their grant-making and that of other funders can provide more effective and holistic support to reduce systemic inequalities. To achieve this, Global Greengrants Fund UK strengthened their organizational and advisors’ learning on how to support and enhance intersectional environmental justice movements, and put these learnings into practice through five seed grants to initiatives that  address the intersections of inequality reduction with environmental justice. Global Greengrants Fund UK will also share and learn within philanthropy how and why funders should take intersectional approaches to tackle inequalities. 

The primary objective of the project was to better contribute towards the reduction of systemic inequalities by becoming a more effective and holistic supporter of intersectional grassroots environmental justice movements.

Reducing Inequalities through Intersectional Budgetary Practice

South Africa is one of the most unequal countries. While rooted in racial oppression, the unequal distribution of income, wealth, and economic and social opportunity varies across a range of dimensions, including race, class, gender, and geographical location. The unequal conditions are currently further aggravated by the global pandemic. However, economic policies fail to account for this. Furthermore, the neglect of the social and economic situation of marginalized groups means that fiscal policy can exacerbate existing structural inequalities.

Therefore, the Institute for Economic Justice (IEJ) aimed to pioneer new forms of intersectional budget analysis and advocacy (IBAA). These address inequalities produced at the intersection of gender and social conditions, and make budgeting processes more responsive to them. In this project, IEJ expanded existing gender responsive budgeting approaches and tools for IBBA in collaboration with partners. They have engaged in learning and reflection on intersectional practice, focusing on how IBAA may serve as a way through which fiscal policy can reduce inequalities, how target groups and partners respond to the use of IBAA, and how to incorporate climate concerns into economic policy.

The aim of the project was to ensure that target groups become more invested in intersectional practice, acquire new skills, and gain new ways of approaching their work. Beyond those immediately involved, IEJ is pushing the boundaries of the fields of budget analysis, feminist political economy and economics, and highlighting the applicability of intersectional practice in spheres of economic policymaking. IEJ believes that this has the potential to generate a new subfield of knowledge and practice.

Intersectionality in movements – critical Romani feminist analysis and organizing for social justice

The community of female Sintizzi and Roma regularly have to deal with invisibility and exclusion. Most public discourses about Romnja and Sintizzi, as well as political initiatives for participation, do not take into account their diversity. As Black Sintizzi they have to deal with anti-black racism, as Muslims with anti-Muslim racism, as queer persons with queer hostility etc. As a group, they regularly experience either exclusion as feminists in racism-critical Romani self-organizations, or as Romnja in white feminist self-organizations. Thus, they largely remain invisible in people of color and feminist anti-racist organizations.

In order to understand what mechanisms on these different levels act against Romnja and Sintizzi, and to become more capable of action, RomaniPhen has undertaken collective analyses and developed strategies for dealing with structural discriminations of various kinds. The main goal of the project was to learn from each other and from other feminist of-color organizations in dealing with the forms, ways, and effects of intersectional systems of oppressions. In a year-long process of developing ideas in dialogical conversations and recording sessions, participants of numerous workshops have shared with each other their own experiences and strategies of coping with this multiple discrimination. The generated knowledge will be shared in a podcast – within the communities and beyond. 

The long-term goal is to help participants and thus also the diverse Romani movement to develop behavioral norms or values, which lead to a voluntary commitment for a stronger intersectional policy of the participating institutions. By this RomaniPhen aims to create more inclusive political movements, more equity, and a better framework to deal with the problem of inequalities.

Feminist Tech Principles - A Framework for Equitable Digital Futures

Whether speaking of artificial intelligence, facial recognition or credit scoring algorithms – today’s digital technologies already disadvantage marginalized groups. These include widely used platforms and technologies that disproportionately affect certain individuals. In the development process, the needs of underrepresented groups get overlooked or are not prioritized. It does not help that the teams who develop tech are homogenous and representatives of marginalized groups are not sufficiently involved in the tech industry nor in policy discussions on technology. As a result, their needs and experiences in dealing with discriminatory technologies are too seldom heard by decision-makers and direct influence on the creation process of new technologies is hardly possible.

For this reason, Superrr Lab takes a feminist approach in order to think and see beyond existing stories and policies. They developed the first feminist tech policy framework alongside a set of narrative future visions of just technology that serves a diverse society. Through the Principles, Superrr presents questions on current innovation narratives and discusses the value of maintenance, accessibility, openness, and care for the digital society of the future. To develop the recommendations, they brought together actors from politics, business, and civil society organizations that advocate for the rights of minorities and disadvantaged groups. At the heart of this project was joint learning, the mutual understanding of challenges, and the creation of new opportunities. To facilitate long-term exchange on the topics of intersectionality and digitization, they will also built an open digital knowledge archive. 

As systemic change takes time, Superrr is committed to working on the topic of feminist tech in the long term. They are continually networking with existing and emerging organizations in this field to pass on their ideas and concepts for others to build on. Through storytelling, their narratives have the potential to develop a life of their own and to serve as inspiration for decision-makers far beyond the duration of the project.

City and peace. Intersectional approach and collective action in the Brisas de las Palmas settlement in Cali, Colombia

In Colombia, the armed conflict has forced more than eight million peasants to seek refuge in cities. In Cali, a city southwest of Bogotá, 200.000 refugees are facing poverty and substandard living conditions. They must also deal with racial discrimination and the stigma of being “displaced people”, among other acts of victimization. Especially in urban areas with such a high density of victims of the conflict can initiatives unleash important lessons of solidarity and coexistence.

The university “Universidad del Valle” focuses on building peace in cities, through an intersectional community approach. For this project, the university cooperated with the residents of the informal settlement Brisas de las Palmas in Cali, mostly Afro-descendants who are victims of forced displacement. Together, they co-designed strategies for peacebuilding in urban contexts, using an intersectional approach to develop an analytical reflection of “peacebuilding” that allows for multiple understandings reflective of distinct contextual vulnerabilities. Through Participatory Action Research, the team fostered an open relationship with communities affected by the conflict. Their work has highlighted the collective agency in informal settlements as a way to challenge traditional methods used by public agents. In academic terms, the team has expanded the use of the intersectional approach to urban studies, with the interest of achieving a more diverse construction of scientific thought.

The project’s general objective was to develop a methodology that, through intersectional practices, is applicable in other urban settlements (formal or informal) as well. For this reason, the university worked with the community, the academy, and public institutions to build strategies aimed at reducing inequities, as a first step to consolidate peace.

The publication emerging from this project, which presents the methodology and results of the engagement with the Brisas des Palmas community, will be available in Fall 2022.

Bridging Gender and Migration: Building More Powerful Movements

The COVID 19 pandemic has revealed multiple crises (public health, economy, climate, care) and women in migration find themselves at the nexus of all. The Women in Migration Network (WIMN) believes that grassroots input, intersectional analysis, and bold proposals are needed to address an unprecedented global situation. However, most organizations do not have time or resources to develop intersectional models as they concentrate their efforts in providing direct services and frontline work to respond to the pandemic.

Through their project with the Support Program, WIMN brought an intersectional approach to international migration policy, and making the intersectional realities of women in migration more visible within the global women’s rights movement. They convened regional and global strategic spaces for information and experience-sharing across ‘silos’, and analysis and action proposals on the intersections of gender, migration, race, labor, climate change, and the global pandemic. These spaces brought together migrant, refugee, feminist, labor, LGBTQI, and other allied sectors and movements, tapping members and partners for virtual dialogues at regional and international levels. WIMN also produced accessible, multilingual background papers towards strengthening an intersectional framework and approach. WIMN created advocacy-oriented multilingual toolkits and used social media pattforms to expand their reach and influence. These tools are beeing integrated further into WIMN's engagements in civil society and govermental migration spaces. These include two videos introducing key issues migrant women face: multiple oppressions & labor rights.

With their work, WIMN will directly contribute to the 2022 United Nations’ first International Migration Review Forum, an assessment of the Global Compact for Migration (GCM). In February 2022, WIMN launched a campaign that will contribute to bringing an intersectional approach to international migration policy, and to make the intersectional realities of women in migration more visible. As states prepare for the Forum in May 2022, WIMN is calling on states to prioritize decent work and long-term visas with a path toward permanent status while ending temporary labor schemes.

Read their publications here.