Since the 1990s, development is measured not just by economic growth, but also human development index, gender development index, gender empowerment measure, gender inequality index, global gender gap index and so on. However discrimination in its various forms continues, and apart from economic and gender discrimination few measure of other forms of discrimination like those based on race, caste, ethnicity, age, disability, marital status, minority status, migrant status, nationality, gender identity and sexual orientation exist. These are just other unitary forms of discrimination not adequately addressed in statistics and indices.
Sandra Fredman distinguishes between more complex kinds of discrimination, namely sequential multiple discrimination, additive multiple discrimination and intersectional discrimination (Council of Europe, 2022).
· Sequential multiple discrimination describes situations when a person suffers discrimination on different grounds on separate occasions. For example, a girl child living with disability might suffer discrimination once because of her gender and on another occasion because of her disability.
· Additive multiple discrimination, describes situations when a person suffers discrimination on the same occasion but on two grounds, for example a short tribal boy (undernourishment) harassed by teacher and classmates from dominant group because he is a tribal and because he is short. Very few non scheduled caste/tribal boys who are short exist, and when they do are not harassed in a similar fashion. This type of discrimination is additive, because each of the grounds can be identified independently.
Intersectional discrimination — happens when two or multiple grounds of discrimination operate simultaneously and interact in an inseparable manner, producing distinct and unique forms of discrimination at a more complex level. An example is the practice of purchasing brides (from marginalised families and communities) against their wishes by better off families from dominant castes (even for older grooms) living in areas where there is shortage of brides due to sex selection
What are the ways of measuring sequential, additive and intersectional discrimination so that they are taken into account in measures of development?
i) Surveys that will point to prejudices and stereotypes.People are often biased against others outside of their own social group, showing prejudice (emotional bias), stereotypes (cognitive bias), and discrimination (behavioral bias). Prejudice and stereotype surveys are important.
ii) Anticipatory discrimination surveys; that is surveys which assess how likely is it that sequential, additive or intersectional discrimination will happen based on different identities
iii) Actual discrimination surveys, that is surveys which assess incidence of sequential, additive or intersectional discrimination. Sequential multiple discrimination surveys entail interviewing the same person across time.
iv) Applying intersectional lens to quantitative data analysis, beyond one identity. However, this can only give information on some kinds of additive discrimination, not all. It cannot give data on intersectional discrimination
v) Qualitative studies on sequential, additive and intersectional discrimination, which are then quantified.
Unless such data is applied to development indices and indicators, Sustainable Development Goals may not be achieved, for humans, and marginalised in particular, have multiple identities intersecting in complex ways.
Council of Europe 2022, Intersectionality and Multiple discrimination, Council of Europe, France,https://www.coe.int/en/web/gender-matters/intersectionality-and-mul...
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