As noted in UN Women’s flagship 2018 report entitled Turning Promises into Action: Gender Equality in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, “[t]he identities (perceived or inherent) of individuals and groups can increase their risks of discrimination and marginalization. Those left furthest behind in society are often women and girls who experience multiple forms of disadvantage based on gender and other inequalities…[T]his can lead to clustered deprivations where women and girls may be simultaneously disadvantaged in their access to quality education, decent work, health and well-being. The notion that disadvantage is intensified for women and girls living at the intersection of inequalities and discrimination is not new to feminist scholars or human rights experts and advocates. The term ‘intersectionality’—defined as ‘the interaction of multiple identities and experiences of exclusion and subordination’—was coined in the 1980s to capture the interaction of gender and race in shaping black women’s experiences in the United States.”[iv]

Though increasingly acknowledged as important by UN Women and other international organizations in the literature, in practice an intersectional approach is rarely taken in international development. Most national security and rule of law support goes to national institutions that are male dominated and do not include civil society members from many excluded groups. The objective of this Capstone is to explore how UN Women could identify better drivers of exclusions and how they intersect by further mainstreaming intersectional analysis and approaches across its Rule of Law, Peace and Security Work towards an inclusive approach leveraging the SDG principle of “Leaving No One Behind.”