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Glossary of terms

Modified on 2015/05/21 12:04 by Sean Zheng Categorized as Uncategorized
  • + Discrimination against women and girls (gender discrimination)
    • Discrimination against women and girls(gender discrimination) is defined according to article 1 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (1979) as “any distinction, exclusion or restriction made on the basis of sex which has the effect or purpose of impairing or nullifying the recognition, enjoyment or exercise by women, irrespective of their marital status, on a basis of equality of men and women, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural, civil or any other field”. Statistics disaggregated by sex, age and other demographic, social and economic characteristics are useful in showing whether disparities between women and men on various social and economic dimensions are explained by gender discrimination or by other factors.

  • + Empowerment of women and girls
    • Empowerment of women and girls concerns women and girls gaining power and control over their own lives. It involves awareness-raising, building self-confidence, the expansion of choices and increased access to and control over resources and actions to transform the structures and institutions which reinforce and perpetuate gender discrimination and inequality. Statistics on the empowerment of women and girls should cover the following dimensions: (a) equal capabilities for women and men (such as education and health); (b) equal access to resources and opportunities for women and men (such as land, employment and credit); and (c) women’s agency to use these rights, capabilities, resources and opportunities to make strategic choices and decisions in all areas of life (such as political participation, decision-making in communities and intrahousehold decision making).

  • + Gender
    • Gender refers to socially constructed differences in attributes and opportunities associated with being female or male and to the social interactions and relations between women and men. Gender determines what is expected, allowed and valued in a woman or a man in a given context. In most societies, there are differences and inequalities between women and men in roles and responsibilities assigned, activities undertaken and access to and control over resources, as well as in decision-making opportunities. These differences and inequalities between the sexes are shaped by the history of social relations and change over time and across cultures.

  • + Gender analysis
    • Gender analysis is a critical examination of how differences in gender roles, activities, needs, opportunities and rights/entitlements affect women, men, girls and boys in certain situations or contexts. Gender analysis examines the relationships between females and males and their access to and control of resources and the constraints they face relative to each other. Gender analysis may be conducted on the basis of qualitative information and methods and/or on the basis of quantitative information provided by gender statistics.

  • + Gender balance
    • Gender balance is commonly used in reference to human resources and the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work, projects or programmes. In a scenario of gender equality, women and men are expected to participate in proportion to their shares in the population. In many areas, however, women participate less than what would be expected according to the sex distribution in the population (underrepresentation of women) while men participate more than expected (overrepresentation of men).

  • + Gender blindness
    • Gender blindness is the failure to recognize that the roles and responsibilities of men/boys and women/girls are given to them in specific social, cultural, economic and political contexts and backgrounds. Projects, programmes, policies and attitudes which are gender blind do not take into account these different roles and diverse needs, maintain the status quo and will not help transform the unequal structure of gender relations. (See also Gender neutral.)

  • + Gender equality
    • Gender equality means equal opportunities, rights and responsibilities for women and men, girls and boys. Equality does not mean that women and men are the same but that women’s and men’s opportunities, rights and responsibilities do not depend upon whether they are born female or male. It implies that the interests, needs and priorities of both women and men are taken into consideration. While gender equality is an important goal in itself – an issue of human rights and social justice – steps towards greater equality can also contribute to the achievement of other social and economic objectives.

  • + Gender equity
    • Gender equity refers to the process of being fair to women and men, girls and boys, by taking into account the different needs of women and men, cultural barriers and past and present discrimination against a specific group. Gender equity may involve the use of temporary special measures of differential treatment to compensate for historical or systemic bias or discrimination against one sex in order to obtain equality of outcomes and end results. It is a means to ensure that women and men, girls and boys, have an equal chance not only at the starting point but also when reaching the finish line.

  • + Gender indicators
    • Gender indicators are a useful tool in monitoring gender differences, gender-related changes over time and progress towards gender equality goals. In general, indicators are statistics with a reference point (a norm or a benchmark) against which value judgments can be made. Indicators have a normative nature, in the sense that a change from the reference point in a particular direction can be interpreted as "good" or "bad". In the case of gender statistics, the status of women in a particular country is usually evaluated by reference to (comparison with) the situation of men in that country. In a few cases, such as for maternal mortality or access to antenatal services, the norm is the situation of women in other countries.

  • + Gender issues
    • Gender issues refer to questions, problems and concerns related to all aspects of women’s and men’s lives, including their specific needs, opportunities and contributions to society. Gender equality issues should be the centre of analyses and policy decisions, medium-term plans, programme budgets and institutional structures and processes. From a statistics perspective, gender issues should also be at the core of plans and programmes for developing gender statistics by national statistical systems.

  • + Gender mainstreaming
    • Gender mainstreaming (general) is defined as the process of assessing the implications for women and men of any planned action, including legislation, policies or programmes, in all areas and at all levels. It is a strategy for making women’s as well as men’s concerns and experiences an integral dimension of the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies and programmes in all political, economic and societal spheres so that women and men benefit equally and inequality is not perpetuated. The ultimate goal is to achieve gender equality.

  • + Gender mainstreaming in national statistics
    • Gender mainstreaming in national statistics means that gender issues and gender-based biases are taken into account, systematically, in the production of all official statistics and at all stages of data production.

  • + Gender neutral
    • Gender neutral means not being associated with either women or men and may refer to various aspects such as concepts or style of language. What is perceived to be gender neutral, however, including in areas of statistics or dissemination of data collected in reference to a population, is often gender blind (a failure to recognize gender specificities). (See also Gender blindness.)

  • + Gender norms
    • Gender norms are the accepted attributes and characteristics of being a woman or a man (ideas of how men and women should be and act) at a particular point in time for a specific society or community. They are internalized early in life through the process of gender socialization, are used as standards and expectations to which women and men should conform and result in gender stereotypes.

  • + Gender parity
    • Gender parity (or more accurately, sex parity) is a numerical concept. Gender parity concerns relative equality in terms of numbers and proportions of women and men, girls and boys. Gender parity is often calculated as the ratio of female-to-male values of a given indicator. When males-to-females ratios are calculated instead, the label “sex ratio” is used instead of “gender parity”. Gender (or sex) parity does not necessarily imply gender equality. For example, in terms of health, men and boys are biologically more vulnerable to diseases and health conditions and they are expected to have higher mortality levels than women and girls. Therefore, equal levels of mortality for women and men (girls and boys) should be interpreted as discrimination against women (and girls) in terms of nutrition, care and access to health services.

  • + Gender roles
    • Gender roles are social and behavioral norms that, within a specific culture, are widely considered to be socially appropriate for individuals of a specific sex. These often determine differences in the responsibilities and tasks assigned to women, men, girls and boys within and outside the private sphere of their household.

  • + Gender-sensitive concepts and methods of data collection
    • Gender-sensitive concepts and methods of data collection take into account the diversity of various groups of women and men and their specific activities and challenges and aim to reduce sex and gender bias in data collection, such as the underreporting of women’s economic activity, the underreporting of violence against women and the undercounting of girls, their births or their deaths.

  • + Gender statistics
    • Gender statistics are defined as statistics that adequately reflect differences and inequalities in the situation of women and men in all areas of life. Gender statistics are defined by the sum of the following characteristics: (a) data are collected and presented disaggregated by sex as a primary and overall classification; (b) data reflect gender issues; (c) data are based on concepts and definitions that adequately reflect the diversity of women and men and capture all aspects of their lives; and (d) data collection methods take into account stereotypes and social and cultural factors that may induce gender biases.

  • + Sex as individual biological characteristic
    • Sex as individual biological characteristic (female or male) is recorded during data collection in censuses, surveys or administrative records. In comparison to gender differences, which are shaped by the history of social relations and change over time and across cultures, biological differences in sex are fixed and unchangeable and do not vary across cultures and over time. Sex-disaggregated data have the capacity to reveal differences in women’s and men’s lives that are the result of gender roles and expectations. For example, gender may determine differences in education or work for women and men. Statisticians reveal these gender differences by collecting and analysing data on education and work disaggregated by sex as well as other characteristics.

  • + Sex bias in data collection
    • Sex bias in data collection refers to the underreporting or misreporting of demographic, social or economic characteristics associated with one of the sexes. Some examples of sex bias in data collected include the underreporting of women’s economic activity, the undercounting of girls, their births or their deaths and the underreporting of violence against women.

  • + Sex-disaggregated statistics
    • Sex-disaggregated statistics are data collected and tabulated separately for women and for men. They allow for the measurement of differences between women and men in various social and economic dimensions and are one of the requirements for obtaining gender statistics. Gender statistics are more than data disaggregated by sex, however. Disaggregating data by sex does not guarantee, for example, that concepts, definitions and methods used in data production are conceived to reflect gender roles, relations and inequalities in society. (See also gender statistics.)

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