This article explores the barriers that UK equality third sector organizations practising community development face when seeking to operationalize intersectionality. It is based on research with three networks of equality organizations (racial justice, feminist, disability rights, LGBTI rights, refugee organizations, etc.) in cities in England and Scotland employing mixed qualitative methods. Barriers to operationalizing intersectionality including power relationships with the state, challenges relating to neoliberal austerity, and competing discourses of identity-based 'equalities' and socioeconomic 'inequality' were identified. The article argues that equality third sector organizations are significantly hampered in their attempts to operationalize intersectionality by the low status they occupy vis-à-vis the state and by neoliberal austerity contexts.
- third sector