The socially constructed differences between men and women. These differ from one culture and society to another, change over time and define who has power and influence over what.
The biological differences between men and women.
The social relationships between people (women and men, women and women, men and men) that reflect and reproduce gender difference as constructed in a particular context, society and time. Gender relations intersect with other social relations based on age, class, ethnicity, race, sexuality and disability.
Gender policy, types of:
Gender blind ignores different gender roles, responsibilities and capabilities. It is based on information derived from men’s activities and/or assumes those affected by the policy have the same needs and interests.
Gender neutral. Not specifically aimed at either men or women and is assumed to affect both sexes equally. However it may actually be gender blind.
Gender specific. Recognises gender difference and targets either men or women within existing roles and responsibilities
Gender redistributive. Seeks to change the distribution of power and resources in the interest of gender equality.
The process of bringing a gender perspective into the mainstream activities of government at the policy, programme and project levels.
Women in Development (WID) is a development approach based on the assumption that women are ‘left out’ of development and need special projects to ‘integrate’ them. Gender relations and power inequalities are not addressed, and women’s participation is often passive.
GAD (Gender and Development) is a development approach based on gender analysis and sees gender equality as a fundamental development goal, with women’s empowerment and agency as key features of development strategy.
Equal or fair distribution of women and men within an institution or group, giving equality of representation
Gender equality and equity
Gender equality means women and men have equal rights and should have the same entitlements and opportunities. Equality is rights-based.
Gender equity means justice so that resources are fairly distributed, taking into account different needs.
Practical and strategic gender needs
Practical gender needs arise from the different material conditions of women and men, due to the roles ascribed to them by society. They reflect women’s position in society, but do not include challenging it. (An example is the need for a clean water supply nearby.)
Strategic gender needs relate to women’s empowerment and to what is required to challenge the gender balance of power and control to achieve gender equality. (An example is the need for equal access to decision-making power.)