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INGENAES Gender Glossary

Deborah Rubin,
Cristina Manfre
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Gender: A concept referring to the social identity and roles associated with being a man or a woman that are usually learned through early socialization and reinforced by social norms. In some countries, additional gender categories are recognized [e.g. transgender]. The constellation of characteristics linked to men and/or women may change over time and place. The concept of gender includes the recognition that the social categories of man and woman are often defined in relationship to each other. To refer to people’s gender roles or categories, use the terms “man/men” and “woman/women.” For example, a “woman” may be responsible (a social role) for preparing the morning meal each day. Policy makers and development practitioners sometimes interpret “gender” as referring only to women or as a women’s issue. This is incorrect, as the concept of gender encompasses everyone, affecting all opportunities and life choices.

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