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Confidence in the economy is shaped by the health of the population, and one pillar of that involves race, gender, class and other factors that intersect to impact marginalization and oppression.

IN RECENT MONTHS, federal, provincial, territorial and municipal Canadian governments have speedily implemented policy measures to address the economic, health and social impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, there has been limited gender-based analysis of these measures and little-to-no intersectional analysis, either in the design of the policies or in understanding their impacts.

In Canada, gender-based analysis is mandated for all federal budget measures. The analytical framework is called GBA+: gender-based analysis, with the ‘+’ representing the various intersecting identities that should be considered. Although there were promising actions taken before the pandemic — such as appointing a gender-balanced cabinet and the passage of the Canadian Gender Budgeting Act — the lack of gender-based as well as intersectional analysis in shaping post-pandemic recovery policies thus far is deeply concerning.

‘Intersectionality’, developed in 1989 by Black feminist academic Kimberlé Crenshaw, is an analytic framework that describes how aspects of one’s identity such as race, gender, class and other factors intersect to compound both marginalization and privilege. It is necessary to design all of our post-pandemic recovery measures using this lens, and to understand how policies work for people across many different social locations, including but not limited to race, age, gender identity, gender expression, disability, socio-economic status, sexual orientation and immigration status.

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