Need a perfect paper? Place your first order and save 5% with this code:   SAVE5NOW

Intersectionality in Canada

Intersectionality establishes a solid ground that enables society to comprehend the complexity of the process through which privileges and oppression intersect in society. The concept of intersectionality has become significantly important in the Canadian context as society strives to achieve equality and justice for all citizens (Njeze et al., 2020). Canada is highly recognized for its rich antiquity in multiculturalism and diversity. The country holds diverse communities, each with unique beliefs and experiences. Diversity helps promote the country’s economic development and establish effective strategies to help promote equality and justice for all people. However, while intersectionality plays a significant role in society, it also contains major limitations and challenges in the Canadian context. Therefore, this paper will examine how intersectionality can help establish equality and social justice among Canadian communities. The paper will indicate the various ways through which intersectionality enlightens people on the concept of oppression and privileges in Canada and the challenges and limitations of implementing it. The paper will also indicate how intersectionality impacts the role of social justice activists and possible recommendations for the effective use of intersectionality in promoting equality and social justice.

Intersectionality refers to the multiple forms of discrimination, their interdependence, and their relationship to dominance and oppression, which involves exploiting one social group by another. In intersectional analysis, privilege describes as advantages one enjoys because of their identity or social position (Maillé, 2022). Therefore, when people understand who they are and their societal position, they can enjoy certain privileges and understand the situations that oppress them. The goal of intersectionality is to recognize how a person’s identity takes shape by how other identities intersect with their own. The effects of these traits tend to pile up on one another, with each variable potentially influencing the others. In Canada, for instance, in 2016, non-racialized white women had a lower median income than white men. For women of color, the disparity got highly pronounced. Therefore, racial and gender differences in earnings are possible. Some intersectional feminists believe that all oppressions are of equal importance, meaning we must treat them all similarly.

According to (Maillé, 2022), intersectionality originated in the United States after the abolition of slavery. Thinkers like W.E.B. Du have used the experiences of African Americans to highlight the complexities of domination regimes. Studies on women, class, and race played a significant role in the notion of intersectionality to emerge. Intersectionality developed as a critical lens through which to examine the oppression of African-American women within the context of white feminism. The notion of intersectionality quickly rose to prominence in Anglo-Saxon feminism with the publication of her seminal works (Maillé, 2022). Intersectionality is compatible with the identity politics strategy of emphasizing the injustices suffered by multiple marginalized communities. However, this hypothesis has faced several challenges. Its origins in highlighting the lives of Black American women made race an implicitly significant factor. Some feminists outside the United States are skeptical of this notion because they believe it reflects just the realities in the United States. Intersectionality is complex because of the many terminologies it employs, such as intersections, intersecting systems of privilege and oppression, simultaneous oppressions, and interrelated disparities. These varying interpretations have the potential to come across as unclear and ambiguous, yet they can also get perceived as a strength.

The concept of intersectionality appears in the work of several organizations in the Canadian context (Hobbs & Rice, 2018). Women’s Shelters Canada, for one, has found that current processes of reaction to violence against women and persons of other genders have failed to reduce violence significantly. The most violent acts happen against people with the least access to services. This is especially true for rural and remote women and women of Indigenous communities. This is also true of people who identify as non-binary, transgender, migrants, people of color, and as people with disabilities.

Canadian authorities are now actively shaping and enforcing intersectional public policy. This is most pronounced with GBA+. Systemic inequities and the potential effects of government actions on men and women from different origins get evaluated in this process. Statistics Canada’s Centre for Gender, Diversity, and Inclusion Statistics provides the means to generate cross-sectional data on GBA+ (Cameron & Tedds, 2020). However, as in most nations, Canada is still in the early phases of integrating intersectionality into its policies. Therefore, intersectionality helps Canadian communities understand the interactions between the different forms of oppression in the country. Indigenous women suffer oppression due to their gender, social class, the historical backgrounds. There is also high marginalization resulting from the experiences connected to slavery. Therefore, by recognizing such experiences, people become aware of the increasing rates of social inequalities. People can fearlessly advocate for an approach that can achieve a more inclusive society. However, it becomes crucial to explore the experiences’ complexity to develop the most effective strategy.

Recognizing the multiple dimensions of privilege in Canada requires an understanding of intersectionality. For instance, most white women in Canada enjoy special treatment due to their ethnic background (Hobbs & Rice, 2018). Also, cisgender individuals have an identity different from the standard genders, which could offer them some unique privileges. Therefore, understanding each group’s advantages can help change the country’s power narrative to establish a more equitable society. However, while someone can enjoy some privileges in a particular area, they can also experience a disadvantage in a different area. For instance, race can give a white person more recognition, while gender preference can subject them to a particular form of oppression.

As a result, intersectionality activism in Canada plays a significant role in helping the communities understand how diversity and complexity of intersectionality affect the marginalized communities in Canada by identifying the various ways through which different forms of oppression intersect. Several movements have developed to help advocate for the rights of indigenous communities and make their voices heard in the country. Such groups include Idle No More Movement, which advocates for indigenous communities’ sovereignty and equal rights (Richez et al., 2020). However, the movements need better connections with the social justice systems, which hinders them from efficiently achieving their objectives. Still, it is difficult to understand and recognize the root causes of standard forms of oppression different communities are experiencing. As a result, the movements may have different views regarding their operations, hindering the effectiveness of their attempts to advocate for social justice and equality for all. Another problem is that some activists use personal experience and identities to shape the movements instead of focusing on the universal systems promoting oppression in the country.

However, today’s movement faces a different landscape than it did back then. Many women who have spent years working on getting problems significant to underrepresented groups onto the political calendar are now avoiding or ignoring identity politics altogether. Members of modern women’s movements have dissected identity categories like gender, race, class, cultural background, citizenship, disability, and sexual orientation to demonstrate the arbitrary nature of such labels (Hobbs & Rice, 2018). Using IFFs, social categories, including race, class, gender, sexuality, abilities, citizenship, and Aboriginality, among others, function relationally. They do not exist independently but develop meaning and force through reinforcing and referring to one another. Women are disproportionately affected by poverty and exclusion worldwide, yet focusing solely on discrimination based on gender ignores the complex nature of these issues. The marginalization and oppression of indigenous women, for instance, or the effects of globalization on the lives of women in the world’s poorest countries, cannot get disentangled from their gender. Gender alone is no longer adequate to provide a richly nuanced analysis due to the recognition of how power dynamics overlap to structure women’s lives. Therefore, government-based feminists face a complicated system and may feel constrained to normalize women’s rights by discussing gender-based policy analyses. Women’s movements cannot adopt these terms due to the difficulties of altering state practices and beliefs.

In conclusion, intersectionality is a powerful tool that helps us understand different perspectives through which oppression and privileges intersect in Canada. It allows us to understand how various experiences based on our originality and levels influence how we interact with each other, either positively or negatively. Most white people can enjoy many privileges due to their color compared to black people. Still, gender gives people certain privileges, and all those factors help to understand different dimensions of power distribution in the country. Most marginalized communities face high discrimination and oppression due to their color and originality. Slavery represents the leading cause of their slavery as the systems that promoted their oppression are still in operation. However, various social justice activists have come out to contend for equality and justice among everyone regardless of race, gender, or class. Although they experience the challenge of understanding the operations of the oppressive systems, their efforts have contributed to implementing laws and policies that encourage inclusiveness.


Cameron, A., & Tedds, L. M. (2020). Gender-Based Analysis Plus (GBA+) and Intersectionality: Overview, an Enhanced Framework, and a British Columbia Case Study. Available at SSRN 3781905.

Hobbs, M., & Rice, C. (Eds.). (2018). Gender and women’s studies: Critical terrain. Canadian Scholars.

Maillé, C. (2022). Intersectionality.,Intersectionality%3A%20Definitions,one%20social%20group%20by%20anot

Njeze, C., Bird-Naytowhow, K., Pearl, T., & Hatala, A. R. (2020). Intersectionality of resilience: a Strengths-Based case study approach with Indigenous youth in an urban Canadian context. Qualitative health research, 30(13), 2001-2018.

Richez, E., Raynauld, V., Agi, A., & Kartolo, A. B. (2020). Unpacking the political effects of social movements with a strong digital component: The case of# IdleNoMore in Canada. Social Media+ Society, 6(2), 2056305120915588.


Don't have time to write this essay on your own?
Use our essay writing service and save your time. We guarantee high quality, on-time delivery and 100% confidentiality. All our papers are written from scratch according to your instructions and are plagiarism free.
Place an order

Cite This Work

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing style below:

Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Need a plagiarism free essay written by an educator?
Order it today

Popular Essay Topics