An increasing acknowledgement for the multiple disadvantages experienced by people who are in two or more disadvantaged social groups has led to the term intersectionality.

Ethnicity, gender, disability, sex, religion, sexual orientation, nationality, class and other elements besides combine to create multiple disadvantages that interact with each other, amplifying the effect and creating hurdles that are unique to the intersection of those groups. An Asian, autistic woman, who is also gay, for instance, would potentially experience marginalisation on four fronts. Added to that, people in marginalised groups have less access to education and well-paid work as a general rule… and this is why discussions around intersectionality are important, as is focussed financial, practical and community support.


There are lots of visual representations, using Venn diagrams, that demonstrate intersectionality very neatly. This one is from the womankind website.

And here’s a helpful video, made up of interviews with autistic people describing their experiences of intersectionality