Intersectionality and gender: Community practice with low-income migrant women

Suet Lin Hung, Kwok Kin Fung*, Ava Lau

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Echoing the call to incorporate the intersectionality framework into studies of gender structure, this paper applied the framework to re-analyse the quantitative and qualitative findings of an evaluation study on a women empowerment community project in Hong Kong. This effort revealed the importance of the gender structure's dimension of sexual division of labour and the intersectional effects of gender, race and class in explaining the mixed traditional and progressive views in different items within a domain and across different domains of the gender division of labour, specifically the marital, parental, employment, social activities and education domains. The low-income migrant women have upheld different traditional ideas in these domains. However, in contrast with the richer and local women who also shared these traditional views, low-income migrant women in this study questioned some prevailing ideas in these domains, due to their need to survive the conditions defined by the intersection of gender, race and class. The findings of this study, despite being preliminary and limited, demonstrate the significance and feasibility of studying gender structure adopting the perspective of intersectionality. Arguably, this lack of understanding of the intersectional effects diminishes the effectiveness of community intervention. In light of the paucity of research adopting the intersectionality framework in the community development field in general, and a similar deficit in the feminist and community development fields in Hong Kong in particular, the failure to adopt the intersectionality framework by the community project under consideration is understandable. It is likely that as this framework becomes more prominent in the future, given its potential to offer deeper insight into the dynamics of gender structure, community interventions for women of different identities could be strengthened.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)102-120
Number of pages19
JournalCommunity Development Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Development


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