Intersectional Rewrites

Dismantling the gendered understanding of pregnancy in discrimination cases under the ECHR

Introduction The experiences of cisgender women are frequently linked to prevailing conceptions about pregnancy and childbirth. Transgender men, as well as other non-binary individuals expressing male gender expressions, are frequently marginalised by these cisnormative assumptions regarding pregnancy status and experiences (Besse et al, 2020). At the outset, it is useful to clarify four terms pertinent […]

The Court’s failure to distinguish poverty from race as intersecting grounds of oppression: reinforcing anti-Roma stigma

Hudorovic and Others v. Slovenia: domestic law prevented indigent Roma from connecting their homes to clean water and sewerage, while the ECtHR assumed they chose their living conditions, dismissing poverty as a factor. It found no violation, and not even that rights invoked – home/ family life, no degrading treatment, non-discrimination – necessarily applied. Facts […]

G.M. and Others v. Republic of Moldova: at the intersection of gender, disability, institutionalisation, and rape survivor status

While nearly 35 years have passed since Kimberlé Crenshaw coined the term “intersectionality” in her essay, the concept has not gained the prominent role in anti-discrimination law that it deserves. It has become an important tool in understanding individual, structural, institutional and historical aspects that impact equality, and is often referred to in academic discourses […]

Intersectionality and the failures of the European Court of Human Rights: A critical analysis of Hämäläinen v. Finland

In Hämäläinen v. Finland (2014) the European Court of Human Rights (the Court) affirmed Finland’s refusal to register Hämäläinen as a transitioned married woman. This critique analyses the judgment through the lens of intersectionality. Using the intersectionality framework, individuals have unique social and political identities, derived from factors such as gender, race, and class, which […]

The European Court of Human Rights’ Semenya case

The recent decision in the case of Caster Semenya is hardly the first instance where the Court was forced to face the music regarding its inherent aversion to explicitly challenging perceived ideas about the gender binary. The Court’s view of gender has always been problematic, confusing sex with gender, pathologising trans bodies, and only accepting […]