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• Explain the meaning of gender
• Develop gender literacy among teachers/students
• Understand gender relations and gender issues in
• Explain roles of schools in promoting gender equality
• Develop positive attitude towards gender.
SEX AND GENDER
• “Sex” refers to the biological and
physiological characteristics that define
men and women. Hence sex is permanent
and universal. Sex refers to a person’s
biological make-up as male or female.
Typically, a person’s genotype (genetic
makeup) and phenotype (observable
traits) are used to determine a person’s
sex. While sex is the determination of
whether a person is male or female which
is viewed and accepted as ‘natural
• “Gender” refers to the socially constructed
roles, behaviors, activities, and attributes
that a given society considers appropriate
for men and women. Gender construction
varies from one society to another.
SEX AND GENDER
•To put it in another way, “Male”
and “Female” are sex categories,
while “masculine” and “feminine”
are gender categories.
Difference between sex & gender
Sex (Biological difference) Gender (Social difference)
Difficult to change (we are born male or
Can be changed since gender identity is
determined by society.
Throughout history and across cultures, sex
At different times in history and in different
societies, gender roles are different.
Policies respond to sex differences in areas to
do with the physical body.
Policies can respond to gender stereotype
and traditional gender roles.
• "Why do men and women act and think in different ways?"
• Two possible explanations have been put forward, one relative to biology and the other to culture.
• The scientists adopting the biological explanation usually consider the behavioural differences between men and
women as being linked to hormones and brain differences. Experiments performed on rats have shown that there is
a link between hormones and certain types of behaviour, such as between androgens and aggressive behaviour.
Therefore, following this line of thinking, it is believed that differences in behaviours are fixed in biology. It is
considered natural for men to be more assertive and aggressive than women due to their higher level of
• However, these explanations have been widely criticized and it is difficult to make any conclusive observation from
animal experiments that can be applied to human beings. Moreover, researches carried out with people have also
been opened to doubt.
• The most popular explanation among sociologists remains the cultural one. Gender roles are viewed as being learnt
through socialisation. Culture is thus put forward as the key to understanding why men and women hold different
attitudes and behaviours and why society actually expects them to behave in different ways and accept these
differences as ‘natural'. This is why the term ‘gender' has been coined. It is asserted that men and women are not
born with behavioural differences, despite their anatomical differences. They rather learn, as from an early age, that
because they belong to a particular sex, they must behave in a specific way. Their gender identities and gender roles
are assigned to them, not by biology, but by society's norms and values regarding the different sexes.
• The debate, however, is still open. Researches are still being made to settle the question. Even though the cultural
explanation seems to bear more weight, no research has as yet been able to prove that the biological aspect holds no
influence on behavioural differences between men and women; on the contrary, links have been established
between biology and behaviour. The controversy is thus still ongoing and we are now hearing about an interaction
between biology and culture as being the answer.
•As a child, boys get toys like trucks,
guns and super heroes while the
girls are given dolls and cooking sets.
•This conditioning manipulates young
minds into believing that they must
act within their “given place” in the
• Girls who do not conform to stereotypical
expectations can experience criticism,
ostracism and even violence.
• This also puts unwarranted pressure on boys
who love to read, dislike fighting, or dislike
sports or mechanics.
• Gender equality benefits both boys and girls
• Allow boys to express their emotions, encourage
them to be expressive. Involve them in activities
like gardening and cooking.
• Expose girls to role models of women in business,
especially those outside the stereotype, like
doctors, scientists and leaders.
• These role models will help girls to see themselves
in professions outside the normal stereotypes.
I don’t want to be your other half. I believe that one
& one make two.
We cannot all succeed when half of us are back
The soul has no Gender
We’ve begun to raise daughters more like sons…. But
few have the courage to raise our sons more like our
Gender equality is a precondition to overcoming
starvation, poverty & epidemic.
• What is Gender Equality?
• Gender equality is achieved when women and
men enjoy the same rights and opportunities
across all sectors of society, including economic
participation and decision-making, and when the
different behaviours, aspirations and needs of
women and men are equally valued and favoured.
• "Gender equality requires equal enjoyment by women and men of socially-valued
goods, opportunities, resources and rewards."
• In other words, gender equality refers to equal access to social goods, services and resources
and equal opportunities in all spheres of life for both men and women. When there is gender
inequality, it is women that are more likely to be disadvantaged and marginalised; but we
should not ignore the negative impact that gender inequality can have on men as well. For
example, societal norms regarding the appropriate behaviour for men tend to put them under
pressure as regards the need to provide materially for their family, and also deny them
opportunities of being more nurturing towards their children and wife. Therefore gender
equality is the concern of all and changes must be brought about for both men and women.
However, this is not to say that men and women are equally affected by gender inequality. It
remains true that women have the greater share of disadvantages.
• However, gender equality, as defined above, does not often result in equal outcomes for men
and women. Being given the same chances in life is not sufficient to bring about true equality.
Women and men have different needs and experiences and accommodation should be made
for these differences. For example, giving boys and girls equal access to all the courses offered
in a school may not result in girls taking advantage of this opportunity if some courses are
predominantly filled with male students and have only male teachers. There is still the
unfortunate tendency to consider male norms as a measure for women's position. Providing
women and men with the same opportunities is the first step; but for true gender equality to
be achieved there is a need for gender equity.
• End all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere
• Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres,
including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation
• Eliminate all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital
• Recognize and value unpaid care and domestic work through the provision of public services,
infrastructure and social protection policies and the promotion of shared responsibility within the
household and the family as nationally appropriate
• Ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of
decisionmaking in political, economic and public life
• Ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights as agreed in
accordance with the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and
Development and the Beijing Platform for Action and the outcome documents of their review
• Undertake reforms to give women equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to
ownership and control over land and other forms of property, financial services, inheritance and
natural resources, in accordance with national laws
• Enhance the use of enabling technology, in particular information and communications technology,
• "Gender equity is the process of being fair to women and men." (UNFPA)
• Women and men should not only be given equal access to resources and
equal opportunities, but they should also be given the means of benefiting
from this equality. This is where the concept of ‘gender equity' comes into
play. Gender equity implies fairness in the way women and men are treated.
The different life experiences and needs of men and women are taken into
consideration and compensation is made for women's historical and social
disadvantages. The lower status of women in society often constitutes a
handicap and provisions should be made to redress this inequality before
they can take advantage of the opportunities provided. Gender equity thus
serves to level the playing field and empower women. Therefore, we can
say that equity is essential to achieve true equality.
• Gender mainstreaming is a strategy for developing policies, legislation,
programs, projects, society and community’s development plans from gender
equality perspective in order to benefit both women and men
RECOMMENDATION OF NCF-2005
• (1)Access to Education for All Girls: The government
must be impressed upon to spend more on education.
Nothing short of free and quality education for all and
the provision of accessible schools for girls in every area
of the country, will ensure that all girls gain equal access
• .(2)Retention and Quality of Girls’ Education:
Government schools are increasingly becoming centres
of poor quality education for the marginalised sections of
society, specially girls, which in turn is connected to the
high dropout rates of girls. Hence the infrastructure and
quality of teaching in government schools must be
brought up to the mark.
• The Issue of Retention: While the overall enrolment of girls
has increased, the dropout rate of girls from marginalised
and rural sections, specially from the upper primary level
upwards is extremely high. A sizeable proportion of out of
school dropouts, chiefly migrant, poor and working
children, are girls - school discontinuation rates of rural
girls are twice as high as that of boys. National-level
surveys and data also show that:9 out of every 10 girls ever
enrolled in school could not complete schooling. Only 1
out of every 100 girls enrolled in Class I reaches Class XII in
rural areas and 14 out of every100 girls enrolled in Class I
reach Class XII in urban areas.