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Feminist Intersectionality and GBA+

The Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women (CRIAW-ICREF) has a long history of undertaking research, policy analysis and education on feminist intersectionality and Gender Based Analysis Plus (GBA+). CRIAW-ICREF views the application of intersectionality as an on-going process and continuously explores and deepens the application of feminist intersectionality in all our work.

Over the years, we have developed a wide range of tools for feminist intersectional analysis. Our tools and resources are widely used by community and academy-based feminist researchers. CRIAW-ICREF also provides research and training services on GBA+ and intersectionality to many different groups, including women’s rights organizations and federal government agencies and departments.

What is “Feminist Intersectionality”?

CRIAW-ICREF defines feminist intersectionality as: A framework for analyzing the ways in which different girls and women experience multiple forms of oppression or inequality. These multiple forms of oppression are simultaneous and cannot be separated from experiences of sex- and/or gender-based discrimination.

Feminist intersectionality analyzes power and the ways in which systems, institutions, structures, socio economic and political practices (historic and current) work together to create and reinforce conditions of inequality and disadvantage, and privilege and advantage based on social location and identity.

The goal of a feminist intersectional analysis is to understand power relations and systems of power that create barriers to women’s equality so we can remove those barriers and redistribute power equitably. To create social change for girls and women, it is necessary to highlight the prevailing systems and structures that create and perpetuate barriers leading to marginalization and social exclusion.

Read more about Feminist Intersectionality here.

CRIAW-ICREF’s Intersectionality Wheel

This popular visual tool illustrates the concept of intersectionality:

  • The innermost circle represents a person’s unique circumstances.
  • The second circle from inside represents aspects of identity.
  • The third circle from the inside represents different types of discrimination/isms/attitudes that impact identity.
  • And the outermost circle represents larger forces and structures that work together to reinforce exclusion.

The Wheel has been used by researchers and activists in research, events, and courses. CRIAW-ICREF’s Intersectionality Wheel was first published in Everyone Belongs: A Toolkit for Applying Intersectionality (2009), which explores the practical applications of intersectionality in relation to policy, programs and services, research, and community education.

You can access the Everyone Belongs toolkit in full here.

Are you interested in using the Intersectionality Wheel in your own work? Send us an email at info@criaw-icref.ca to receive a high-quality version of the Intersectionality Wheel and our preferred citation method.

GBA+ Training and Consultation

CRIAW-ICREF has a long and rich history of doing research, policy analysis and training on Gender Based Analysis Plus (GBA+) and feminist intersectionality. We are actively providing training and consultation on integrating Gender-Based Analysis Plus (GBA+) and intersectionality to organizations and institutions, including government departments and agencies. Our training has included key elements like enhancing the understanding of key concepts of GBA+ as well as how to meaningfully apply and integrate GBA+ analysis into the work of researchers, policymakers and consultations processes.

Our recent work in this area includes:

Working with Health Canada’s Impact Assessment Specialists to develop and enhance GBA+ integration into impact assessments. Working with researchers and managers at the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) to integrate GBA+ into their research in all 12 streams and 4 research priorities. This work included developing GBA+ tools and resources to support GBA+ application in research projects and programs.

Tools and Resources

CRIAW-ICREF has produced many tools and resources on feminist intersectionality and GBA+. Check out our publications and work in this area to learn more about the frameworks and on how to apply feminist intersectionality within your own organization’s research and advocacy.


Interested in learning more about our GBA+ training and consultation and how we can help you apply it to your work? Please direct all inquiries for GBA+ training and consultation to info@criaw-icref.ca.