The EU Approach to Intersectional Discrimination in Law

  • Citation: Solanke, Iyiola. “The EU Approach to Intersectional Discrimination in Law.” In The Routledge Handbook of Gender and EU Politics, edited by Gabriele Abels, Andrea Krizsán, Heather MacRae, and Anna van der Vleuten. Routledge, 2021.
    • Topics:
    • Country and Regional Studies
    • Keywords:
    • European Union
    • EU
    • anti-discrimination law
    • race
    • gender
    • Court of Justice of the European Union
    • CJEU

This chapter explores the future of intersectional discrimination in the European Union (EU) and how improvement is possible. Anti-discrimination law and policy is ‘zero-sum’ – it is premised upon the idea that discrimination will relate to a single characteristic – race or gender or disability or age. The concept of intersectional discrimination adopted a similarly synergistic approach, focusing specifically on the ‘physical and material representation of the intersection of race and gender’. In addition, the general idea of intersectionality has eclipsed the more specific legal idea of intersectional discrimination and, with it, the critical race feminism centring of black women. Multiple discrimination is also visible in legal systems at the European level. The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) also rarely addresses multiple discrimination in its case law, although the EU Race and Equal Treatment Directives include multiple discrimination.

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