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Intersectionality and Development: Exploring Equity in All Dimensions
Feminist Legal Theory Conference (2017)
  • Renee Hatcher, John Marshall Law School
Equity is a word that gets thrown around often in economic development. Terms such as equitable development, regional equity, and equitable growth all too often become little more than rhetorical intent concerning development initiatives, as opposed to a principle of practice. Historically, women, the disabled, indigenous peoples, Blacks, and other people of color have meaningfully been left out of the development process. All the while, normative pro-growth economic development strategies have affected minority and marginalized communities differently, largely producing inequitable outcomes that shape the experiences and hardships of those outside of the towers of power. These burdens and hardships range from the exclusion of gender-nonconforming persons encountering conflict when trying to use public restrooms to indigenous peoples being denied access to clean and safe drinking water. By and large, development has largely been a something that has been done to communities, as opposed to done with communities.

This essay explores what it means to fully embrace equity as a principle of economic development in local and community development initiatives. It posits that equity realized must take a multidimensional intersectional approach, considering the many overlapping identities of individuals and communities, and incorporate intentional inclusionary practices in the design, process, inputs, and outcomes. Drawing upon solidarity economy theory, “mainstreaming gender” theory and other feminist strategies of urban planning and development, the essay concludes by setting forth a framework and an assessment tool to develop and analyze equity targets (in all dimensions) on a development initiative.
Publication Date
Spring 2017
Citation Information
Renee Hatcher. "Intersectionality and Development: Exploring Equity in All Dimensions" Feminist Legal Theory Conference (2017)
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