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ITU GGI selection of definitions on 'Gender' ?

By gender we mean the socially constructed and culturally determined characteristics associated with women and men, the assumptions made about the skills and abilities of women and men based on these characteristics, the conditions in which women and men live and work, the relations that exist between women and men, and how these are represented, communicated, transmitted and maintained. We include sexual and social relations based on sexuality, and relations of power and control based on gender.

(Gender, Culture and Organisational Change: Putting Theory into Practice: Intro; eds. Itzin & Newman: 1995, Routledge: London)

The distinction between sex and gender is now commonly made. Sex refers to physiological denotation - biology, hormones, chromosomes, etc. Gender connotes the social and historical constructions of masculine and feminine roles, behaviours, attributes, ideologies, etc. which refer to some notion of biological sex.

(Iman & Mama 1997: 2)

Gender is seen as the process by which individuals who are born into biological categories of male or female become the social categories of men and women through the acquisition of locally-defined attributes of masculinity and feminininty.

(Kabeer: 1991)

Gender is the social organisation of sexual difference.

(Scott 1988:2)

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Updated : 2001-12-20