Power of the Powerless – Fighting the Good Fight Against Double Oppression


  • Janakan Muthukumar Carleton University


double-oppression, law, systemic barriers, marginalized communities


Double Oppression (DO) is a phenomenon that encompasses the experience of individuals facing intersecting forms of oppression based on various identities, such as race, gender, sexuality, and class. DO arises from the interconnectedness of societal structures and systems of oppression, with racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and poverty being interrelated factors. Individuals who identify with multiple marginalized identities may face compounded forms of oppression, resulting in distinct experiences and social disadvantages. While the legal response to DO is essential, it poses unique challenges due to its intersectional nature. Law may also perpetuate or exacerbate existing forms of oppression.

This paper argues that legal frameworks and policies must consider the specific needs and experiences of affected individuals and groups. Inadequate consideration of intersectionality can result in insufficient legal remedies that fail to address the complexity of intersecting discrimination. Effective legal strategies require a comprehensive approach that acknowledges the distinct experiences of marginalized communities. This includes ensuring access to legal protections and resources, funding legal aid services, promoting community-based legal advocacy, and addressing systemic barriers to legal resources. Collaboration between legal experts and social justice advocates, as well as ongoing engagement with impacted communities, is crucial in developing tailored legal strategies. This paper advocates for a holistic approach that acknowledges the empowerment of marginalized individuals in their resistance against oppression.


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