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What is Gender?• Sex is what is biologically assigned to anindividual and Gender is what a personidentifies himself or herself as.• Gender is not binary; it is a spectrum.• Sexual Minorities
Sex & Gender“Sex” refers to the biological and physiologicalcharacteristics that define men and women.“Gender” refers to the socially constructed roles,behaviors, activities, and attributes that agiven society considers appropriate for men andwomen.
Thus, while sex is permanent anduniversal, gender construction varies fromone society to another.To put it in another way, “Male” and “Female”are sex categories, while “masculine” and“feminine” are gender categories.
Gender SensitivityGender sensitivity is the act of being sensitiveto the ways people think about gender.
• Gender sensitivity tries to ensure thatpeople rely less on assumptions abouttraditional and outdated views on the rolesof men and women.
Language matters!Gender sensitivity often gets expressed throughpeoples language choice.We can choose more inclusive language and usewords that are gender neutral.
Gender discriminatory words are not innocent -by making women non-apparent, society willsee them as possessing less value.Gender equality benefits both men and womenby giving them wider choice.
Gender Roles• A gender role is a set of social andbehavioral norms that are generallyconsidered appropriate for either a man or awoman in a social or interpersonalrelationship.
Socialization• Gender roles determine how males andfemales should think, speak, dress andinteract within the context of society.• They define what is masculine and feminine.• Parents, teachers, peers, films, televisionand religion teach and reinforce genderroles.
ExamplesSome examples of gender characteristics:-Women are expected to take care of familyor domestic duties and remain close to home- All men are expected to work and earnmoney for the family- Boys are better in mathematics than girls- Boys never cry- Girls are very emotional-Women usually do more housework than men
Housework Mostly, it is women who do the housework ….Cooking, cleaning, washing etc which isrepetitive and boring. Women have entire responsibility for childrearing. Women have to look after older or sick people. All this is unpaid labour / work. It has noeconomic value. But it contributes a lot to the overall wealth ofthe nation. Hence, housework done by women should bemade a part of GDP.
StereotypesStereotypes are generalizationsor assumptions that people makeabout the characteristics of allmembers of a group based on animage (often wrong).
ConditioningAs a child, boys get toys like trucks, guns andsuper heroes while the girls are given dollsand cooking sets.This conditioning manipulates young mindsinto believing that they must act within their“given place” in the society.
ChallengesGirls who do not conform to stereotypicalexpectations can experiencecriticism, ostracism and even violence.This also puts unwarranted pressure on boyswho love to read, dislike fighting, or dislikesports or mechanics.Gender equality benefits both boys and girls.
BenefitsAllow boys to express their emotions, encouragethem to be expressive. Involve them in activitieslike gardening and cooking.Expose girls to role models of women inbusiness, especially those outside thestereotype, like doctors, scientists and leaders.These role models will help girls to see themselvesin professions outside the normal stereotypes.
PatriarchyA worldwide system that predates recorded history,the patriarchy is the most powerful force in the worldtoday, trumping other ideologies or political systemsor religious beliefs.By its very nature, it is rooted in the subjugation ofwomen.Patriarchal cultures uphold the privileges of menbased on gender, social structures, religiouspractices, and legal codes.
Even though men are more privileged under patriarchythan women, some men are more privileged than others.These differences vary according to the culture with itsparticular class subsystems and, of course, the castesbased on physical characteristics like skin color and sexthat cannot be changed.These subsystems can also be based on lineage, onreligion, or on wealth. Women within thesubsystems, however, always occupy a lower status thantheir male counterparts.
Patriarchal Institutions Family Religion Legal System Economic System Political System Media Knowledge System
Masculinity is a set of qualities, characteristics or rolesgenerally considered typical of, orappropriate to, a man. Eg : beingaggressive, macho, angry, brave, virile, beingin control. Expectation of what a ‘real’ man should actand look like …. But no one actually is. Biological factors, culturally constructed.
Harmful downside Relationship between masculinity andgender-based violence. Disempowerment and impoverishment ofwomen and the persistence of genderinequalities through men’s violence. Loss of mens dignity and self esteem whenthey are taught to behave violently.
Moving out of the box Women are pushed back into conforming byvarious punishments … ridicule, laughed at,contempt, verbal threats, intimidation, physicalattacks, violence including beating, assault, rape,murder. Men also face challenges … men who listen totheir wives or display sensitivity or do houseworketc …. Labelled as joru ka ghulam, chakka etc. Men also have to be very strong to break out.
Violence against WomenConcepts of• Honour• Chastity Acid attacks• Rape as a weapon
What is Sexual Harassment?• Sexual Harassment includes:a) Physical contact and advances• b) A demand for sexual favours• c) Sexually coloured remarks• d) Showing pornography• e)Any other unwelcome physical, verbal ornon-verbal conduct of sexual nature
How to deal?• Criminal Proceedings• Disciplinary action• Complaint Mechanism• Complaints Committee• Raise Awareness