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
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.
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
ones 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
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