Updated: September 25, 2020

Intersectionality is a concept first developed by lawyer, activist and scholar Kimberlé Crenshaw in relationship to Black women and the law in the United States. Crenshaw noticed that the legal system failed Black women because it did not acknowledge, or address, systemic inequalities linked to the intersections of racism and sexism. Since that time the concept has been more broadly adopted in health care, education, and other areas. Olena Hankivsky, a professor at Simon Fraser University’s School of Public Policy, notes, “according to an intersectionality perspective, inequities are never the result of single, distinct factors. Rather, they are the outcome of intersections of different social locations, power relations and experiences. (source)