Our Convenor Puja Kapai was invited to deliver a special keynote address by Plan International India and Government of India’s Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment at the Plan for Every Child 2018: Girls Get Equal conference held in New Delhi from 5th to 7th December. The Conference hosted many legal and civil society illuminators and prominent speakers including Mr Justice Lokur, Justice of the Supreme Court of India and Ms Mikiko Otani, member of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.
In her keynote address, ‘Pathways to Gender Justice: A Critical Intersectional Framework’, Puja discussed the importance of using an intersectional lens to examine the issues of children’s rights and gender equality and to craft contextualised and complex solutions. Moreover, she presented an intersectional assessment framework integrated with the Child Rights Impact Assessment (CRIA) framework, which she launched earlier this year with Plan International Hong Kong at the Conference on Safeguarding Children’s Best Interests, as a shared tool for frontline responders for adopting a common language and framework for the identification and management of relevant and responsive interventions.
‘Critical intersectional inquiry urges the mapping of the various axes of inequity, oppression, discrimination or exclusion onto a framework. It then enables us to critically examine not only the prevalence of multiple vectors in the equation but more importantly, their inter-relationship and how they intersect to create the conditions which entrench individual children in a particular context to a life of deprivation. Using this framing and critical lens then, organisations and frontline responders working with children can build their capacities for more effective identification of specific environmental, substantive as well as structural challenges which warrant targeted interventions to formulate strategies to deliver responsive, accessible and meaningful justice. In essence, it means building up an entire ecosystem for the actualization of a unique model of justice which responds to intersecting axes of marginality in particular children or groups of children.
When we can accurately problematize issues, we render visible the invisible – the unseen, hidden, yet embedded – realities. We are able to capture within our analytical lens the aggressions, power, oppression or structurally entrenched constructs and relationships between issues. This knowledge presenting a fuller picture with all its layers of complexity enhances the prospects of justice, in particular, gender justice.’