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close this bookWomen in Human Settlements Development - Getting the Issues Right (HABITAT, 1995, 60 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentAcknowledgements
View the documentForeword
View the documentWhy Focus on Women?
View the documentSome Basic Definitions
View the documentFact Sheet
View the documentPlanning and Management: By and for Whom?
View the documentHousing Policy: Starting Right
View the documentTowards a Safer Environment
View the documentA Place of Her Own: Women and Land
View the documentDesigning Housing to Meet the Needs of All
View the documentWomen and Finance
View the documentNetworking: Sharing Knowledge and Experiences
View the documentInformation: Equal Access, Equal Control
View the documentPolicy Proposals
View the documentSome Questions for Discussion
View the documentSelect Bibliography

Some Basic Definitions

Development: a change for the better: the ordering of society and social and economic processes for the eradication of gross poverty, ill health and illiteracy; and resulting in rising standards of living and increased well being of all.

Empowerment: people, women or men, taking control over their own lives: gaining the ability to do things, to set their own agendas, to change events, in a way previously lacking. This may include affecting the way other people act and consciously or unconsciously effecting changes in their behaviours.

Gender: relating to the social, economic and political differences between women and men. [Sex: relating to biological differences]

Gender-aware: conscious of the difference between the needs, desires, vision etc. of women and men. Similarly, gender-awareness

Gender-biased: lopsided and/or distorted, by neglect, discrimination, or outright prejudice towards/against one gender, be it male or female. Similarly, gender-bias

Gender-blind: that which makes the social relations between women and men invisible; inscrutable, concealed, not noticeable. Similarly, gender-blindness

Gender-competent: having ability and skill to adequately and effectively translate the needs, desires, vision etc. of women and men into language, work and life.

Gender-disaggregated statistics/Data: statistics that visibly show the difference between the situation, status etc. of men and women, e.g., unemployment: number of men, number of women; heads of household: number of women, number of men; owner/occupiers: number of men, number of women.

Gender-relations: the socially constituted relations between men and women which are shaped and sanctioned by norms and values held by members of a given society. Central to these relations and around these notions acceptable behaviours for each of the genders are socially constructed.

Gender-sensitive: clearly open to, acutely aware of, readily responsive to those issues which have to do with the social relations between women and men, within specific societies. Similarly, gender-sensitivity.

Gender-specific: clearly expressing or articulating in one’s language, work, etc., gender differences.

Planning from a gender perspective: catering for, and involving women and men at all levels of development: thinking, planning and implementation.

These few definitions should afford you a more ready understanding of similar terms such as gender analysis, gender concerns, gender discrimination and gender inequalities as well as such concepts as gender and development.