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Intersectionality

Posted on October 30, 2020, by Jean East CoL

In the presentation by LFN at the 2020 Assembly (post Assembly), we celebrated the 100-year anniversary of women’s right to vote. As we shared, this really meant white women, as Black women still lived under Jim Crow laws and Indigenous and Latina women were also discriminated against when it came to voting.

In our presentation we also presented the idea of intersectionality … the interconnected nature of identities … “overlapping or intersecting identities and related systems of oppression, domination or discrimination.” We can’t just say women got the right to vote in 1920, we must recognize that women have many other identities that define their experiences.

The Loretto Feminist Network supports the understanding that the issues that women face are often magnified by race, ethnic identities, access to education, class, capitalism, physical and mental health, violence, war … the list goes on. Below are a few examples.

COVID AND WOMEN

According to the McKinsey Global Institute’s report on women and COVID 19, “women’s jobs are 1.8 times more vulnerable to this crisis than men’s jobs. Women make up 39 percent of global employment but account for 54 percent of overall job losses. One reason for this greater effect on women is that the virus is significantly increasing the burden of unpaid care, which is disproportionately carried by women. This, among other factors, means that women’s employment is dropping faster than average, even accounting for the fact that women and men work in different sectors” (“COVID and gender equality: Countering the regressive effects” McKinsey Global Institute, July 15, 2020).

SYSTEMIC RACISM AND WOMEN

In an article in USA Today, Mary Ann Etiebet and Raj Panjabi reported on the death of Erica Garner, the daughter of Eric Garner who died in 2014 in a chokehold by a New York City policeman. She died four months after she gave birth to a baby boy from multiple heart attacks and complications from the pregnancy. The intersection of systemic racism and maternal health is very real for many women (“How we stop systemic racism from killing Black mothers” USA Today, 9/18/20).

Jean East CoL

Jean East CoL

Jean has been a Loretto Co-member since 1983 and recently retired as a professor of social work at the University of Denver, Graduate School of Social Work. She currently is a coordinator of the Loretto’s Women’s Network and supports local efforts in Denver for immigrants and refugees.
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