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
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: