Intersectionality vs. Equality
The research team has curated an inventory of research studies and expert opinions that support the hypothesis that intersectionality negatively impacts equality for persons with disabilities. In particular, available evidence indicates that the intersectionality of disability with race, gender, socioeconomic status, and sexual orientation factors substantially increases discrimination. Meanwhile, considering the highly specific nature of the requested information and it’s relatively limited availability in the public domain, the research team included several slightly dated resources to add robustness to the provided findings.
- The Overseas Development Institute (ODI) and UK Department for International Development (DFID) are among the institutions that broadly assert that individuals with "disabilities face intersecting and compounding forms of discrimination on the grounds of gender, sexuality, impairment type, age, race, ethnicity, religion or belief, and location which all contribute to disability-related exclusion."
- Specifically in terms of disability and race, the National Disability Institute found that "individuals who live at this intersection of race and disability experience disproportionate levels of financial distress" alongside other forms of social inequality. As evidence of such disparities, the NDI reports that the poverty rate of individuals with a disability in the US dramatically increases if they are also Black, Latinx or Indigenous from 23% to 36%, 28% or 34%, respectively.
- Corroborating these findings, the World Economic Forum states that wage inequality among people with disabilities "increases with intersectionality" such as racial factors, citing research that found that disabled individuals of Indian descent experienced a 56% pay gap compared with non-disabled white men.
- In terms of disability and gender, the United Nations asserts that "girls and women of all ages with any form of disability are among the more vulnerable and marginalized of society."
- In particular, a slightly dated (2018) research study published in Gender & Society confirmed that "women with disabilities are burdened by greater disadvantage in work settings compared to men with disabilities."
- Moreover, somewhat dated (2016) research out of Clark University found that disabled individuals who also faced gender and socioeconomic factors were "two to four times as prone" to violence and other indicators of social inequity.
- Meanwhile, the World Economic Forum and Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund also state that the intersection of disability with sexual orientation factors negatively impacts equality for persons with disabilities.
- For example, individuals with a disability as well as LGBTQI associations experienced "significantly higher" levels of sexual harassment, "disproportionately poor mental health outcomes" and other indicators of social inequity.