To love somebody IPPF Strategy 2023-28

Intersectional Feminism in practice

Date: 29/11/2021


Profamilia, Red de Mujeres Afrolatinoamericanas, Afrocaribeñas y de la Diáspora, CREA, Swedish Association for Sexuality Education (RFSU), Family Planning Association of Sri Lanka (FPASL)


The world is currently being impacted by the effects, not only of Covid-19, but also on significant events caused by climate change. As with inequality and poverty these events have a disproportionate impact on women and girls in their diversity – across age, identity, sexuality, class, ability, status, ethnicity and race. These events are also reflected SDGs clarion call, to ‘leave no one behind’ by 2030, by reaching those who are furthest behind, first. In order to achieve this, it is necessary to anchor programmes and policies within an understanding of intersecting oppressions and their impact on women’s lived realities.

As a tool for analysis and method of practice, intersectionality challenges the idea of ‘sameness’ – it seeks to address multiple and intersecting hierarchies of power affecting people in their diversity, including, but not limited to, power hierarchies linked to gender, age, identity, dis-ability, sexual orientation, race, ethnic, class and religious background. An intersectional feminist lens equally provides support and voice for specialist, frontline, MAs working on SGBV and SRHR, where services are designed, delivered and run by and for the communities that they aim to serve.

Following up on June’s IPPF Roundtable on Intersectionality, this roundtable focuses on how to take intersectionality from theory to practice deepening understanding of what intersectional feminism means in practice and how to operationalize – personally, programmatically and organizationally from the perspective of both Member Associations and other civil society organizations more broadly.


29th November 2021


7:00-9:00 ET / 12:00-14:00 GMT



Interpretation will be available in Arabic, French, English and Spanish


Ema Tangarifem, Member of Profamilia youth network and Profamilia Board of Directors. Non-binary person, sexual and gender dissident, professional in Political Science. Ema is a young person who has been multiplying, defending and exercising SRR for 5 years. They are part of Profamilia’s Youth Network and Profamilia’s Board of Directors.

Roundtable Participants

Marcela Sánchez Buitrago, Executive Director, Colombia Diversa. Marcela Sánchez is a Social Worker from the Universidad Nacional de Colombia and a former Fulbright Hubert H. Humphrey Academic and Professional Development Fellow at the University of Minnesota. She is currently Executive Director of Colombia Diversa, one of the most representative organizations in the struggle for equality and diversity in Colombia. Marcela is a major activist for the human rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. She has worked on issues such as women’s political participation, violence against women, sexual and reproductive health and human rights both in research and advocacy strategies in Colombia, especially in the recognition of the rights of LGBT people, their families and their children.

Bience Gawanas, Member of IPPF Board of Trustees, Former Under-Secretary-General, Special Advisor on Africa to the UN. Bience Gawanas has served as Special Adviser to Namibia’s Minister of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare. Prior to this, she was Special Adviser to the Minister of Health and Social Services. A champion of women’s health and rights in Africa, she has been commended for her role in initiating far-reaching campaigns, such as the continental Campaign on Accelerated Reduction of Maternal Mortality in Africa (CARMMA). From 1996 to 2003, she was Ombudswoman of Namibia, having previously worked as a lecturer on gender law at the University of Namibia, from 1995 to 1997, and as a lawyer at the Legal Assistance Centre, a human rights non-governmental organization, from 1990 to 1991.

Ingela Holmertz, Secretary General, Swedish Association for Sexuality Education (RFSU). She joined RFSU in October 2020, and has extensive experience from leading civil society organisations, both in Sweden and internationally. She has worked at, among others, Action Aid and the Red Cross.

Zainab Hassen, Consultant, Family Planning Association of Sri Lanka (FPASL). Zainab is currently a Consultant at Family Planning Association Sri Lanka working on queer advocacy project and an abortion study. She is also the Founder of Yellow dot organisation. She has over half a decade of experience being a part of dynamic global and local teams like UN Women, UNDP, Ministry of National reconciliation and CPA. Her work focuses on the empowerment of marginalized minorities with a special focus on gender and reconciliation. Her academic background is Law and International Development and she is currently reading for a Masters in Human Rights.

Diana Moreno, Director of Advocacy, Profamilia. Diana Carolina Moreno is a lawyer from the Universidad Javeriana and LLM from Columbia University. She is currently Director of Advocacy at Profamilia. Diana has worked for human rights and sexual and reproductive rights at the Center for Reproductive Rights, ELEMENTA S.A.S, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and Women’s Link Worldwide. Diana has also been a researcher and professor at the Universidad Javeriana on issues of gender, human rights and armed conflict since the beginning of her legal studies. In her professional career she has participated in national and regional strategic litigation activities related to women’s and LGBTI rights.  

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