Intersectionality, particularly as it relates to migrant and refugee women, is central to the values and mission of Harmony Alliance.
We believe that to achieve positive outcomes for migrant and refugee women in all their diversity, intersectionality should be incorporated in all spheres of policy and practice, from legal rights to provision of services. We encourage and commend the embedding of the principles of intersectionality—including ongoing reflection, substantive representation, and commitment to equity—in policy and practice. Since the establishment of the Alliance in 2017, we have been working consistently to embed intersectionality in our work. Some of our initiatives in this area are listed below:
Intersectionality Position Statement
Women from migrant and refugee backgrounds in Australia are impacted by multiple forms of systemic and structural disadvantage and inequality. It is not our identities that make us vulnerable but systemic exclusion and histories of oppression that create entrenched forms of disadvantage for us. Intersectional disadvantage affects our participation in civil, economic, social, cultural and political life, and manifests in the form of harmful societal stereotypes and racism. Our position statement on intersectionality—developed in consultation with our members, council, advisory groups, and other stakeholders—explains what intersectionality means to us as migrant and refugee women.
Read the statement
Intersectionality Discussion Series
Harmony Alliance hosted a series of discussions in August and September 2020 on the various aspects of intersectionality as it relates to migrant and refugee women. The series generated a lively and transformational dialogue and discussion, enabling engagement with over 500 participants over the course of three webinars.
Webinar 1: Our Position on Intersectionality
The first webinar in the Intersectionality Discussion Series, Our position on Intersectionality: Addressing power, privilege, and colonialism, reflected on our position of relative privilege as beneficiaries of the settler colonial systems built on dispossession and institutionalised racism against the Indigenous Peoples of this land.
Webinar 2: Intersectional Discrimination
The second webinar in the series, Intersectional Discrimination: Racism, Sexism, Ableism, & Homophobia against migrant & refugee women, focussed on intersections of multiple forms of systemic discrimination against migrant and refugee women in Australia. The panel discussion highlighted how intersections of these systemic forms of discrimination create multi-layered and compounded disadvantage for women, non-binary, and non-conforming people from migrant and refugee backgrounds.
Webinar 3: Unpacking the Power of Language
The third and final webinar in the series was Unpacking the power of language: Othering of culture as complexity in the context of violence against women. This panel discussion unpacked the power of language and challenged the framing of ‘complexity’ as something only relevant to particular manifestations of violence, highlighting the potential that this approach has to othering communities and disempowering victims/survivors or violence.
Intersectionality Course for Public Servants
This course is designed to complement skills of executive leaders engaged in public policy and public administration—particularly across the social and economic domains—within and outside government. The course will enable public sector leaders to design intersectional policies to achieve equitable outcomes for the public. The material in the course is designed to expand and build upon professional development in the areas of diversity and inclusion.