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What is 'Gender' ?

ITU GGI selection of definitions on 'Gender' ?

Gender refers to the social attributes and opportunities associated with being male and female and the relationships between women and men and girls and boys, as well as the relations between women and those between men.  These attributes, opportunities and relationships are socially constructed and are learned through socialization processes. They are context/ time-specific and changeable.

Gender determines what is expected, allowed and valued in a woman or a man in a given context. In most societies there are differences and inequalities between women and men in responsibilities assigned, activities undertaken, access to and control over resources, as well as decision-making opportunities.

Gender is part of the broader socio-cultural context. Other important criteria for socio-cultural analysis includes class, race, poverty level, ethnic group and age.

(UN Office of the Special Advisor on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women: 10/05/00)

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Updated : 2001-12-20