The process of gaining control over the self, over ideology and the resources which determine power. (Srilata Batliwala - "Empowerment of Women in South Asia, Concepts and Practices")

Source: UNDP/GIPD Gender Mainstreaming Glossary


Gender refers to the socially constructed relationship between women and men and the attributes, behavior and activities each is expected to adhere to. Gender differences are determined and reinforced by cultural, historical, ethnic, religious and economic factors.
Gender roles differ over time and between cultures, but may be changed. Gender is often wrongly conflated with 'sex', which refers to the biological differences between women and men.

Source: Engendering Statistics: A Tool for Change.


Gender analysis
A tool used to identify and understand social relations of production. Gender analysis focuses on differences in the status and activities of women and men, including differences in access to and control over power and resources.


Gender and development
Adopted in the 1980's, 'gender and development' is an analytical and programmatic approach that aims to address the underlying causes of gender disparities and achieve women's empowerment by improving their status relative to men.
The 'gender and development approach' differs significantly from the 'women in development' approach of the 1970's, which attempted to address women's needs in isolation, rather than in relation, to men.


Gender disaggregated data
Data collected on women and men separately in relation to all aspects of their functioning - ethnicity, class, caste, age, location.
Source: UNDP/GIPD Gender Mainstreaming Glossary

Gender Empowerment Measure (GEM)
Measures the political and economic empowerment of women relative to men by looking at the number/percent of women in parliament, senior and management positions as well as women with professional and technical jobs. GEM also examines the earned income of women in relation to that of men.
GEM is available for only 143 countries. Of the Arab countries, only Egypt is assigned a GEM.


Gender equality
Refers to norms, values, attitudes and perceptions required to attain equal status between women and men without neutralizing the biological differences between them.
Source: UNDP/GIPD Gender Mainstreaming Glossary


Gender equity
Fairness in women and men's access to socio-economic resources. A condition in which women and men participate as equals and have equal access to socio-economic resources.
Example: access to education, depending on whether the child is a boy or a girl.
Source: UNDP/GIPD Gender Mainstreaming Glossary


Gender indicators
Standards used to measure changes in the status and roles of women and men, particularly progress towards gender equality and equity.  Gender indicators are developed on the basis of gender issues. Indicators are expressed as numbers, percentages, rates or ratios and can be a single figure or distribution.
Example: women's annual income from small-scale and micro enterprises assisted by a project over a five-year period, to show if there has been an increase in the women's level of income as planned.
Source: UNDP/GIPD Gender Mainstreaming Glossary


Gender issue
Gender issue refers to any aspect of womenís and menís lives and gender relations, including their access to, and control over, resources and opportunities. While gender issues differ over time and between cultures, a common set of gender issues prevail worldwide.
International declaration and conventions have recognized priority gender issues pertaining to poverty, education and training, health care, violence and armed conflict, economic activity, power sharing and decision-making as well as access to and control over natural resources.


Gender mainstreaming
An institutional policy and programme strategy that seeks to integrate women's concerns into all aspects and sectors of activity. Gender mainstreaming contrasts to 'women-specific' approaches that advocate separate activities for women.


Gender planning
A planning approach based on gender analysis and an awareness that seeks to include women, on an equal basis with men, as participants and beneficiaries. Gender planning also attempts to redress gender disparities created or intensified by socio-cultural factors.

Gender-related development index (GDI)
Includes the same basic data as the HDI, but focuses on the differences between women and men in terms of life expectancy, literacy, primary, secondary and tertiary enrolment as well as earned income.
GDI is available for only 143 countries.

Human development index (HDI)
Measures and ranks a country according to its basic human capabilities. HDI accounts for three dimensions of human development:

  1. Longevity - measured by life expectancy;

  2. Knowledge - measured by a combination of adult literacy (two-thirds weight) and mean years of schooling (one-third weight);

  3. Standard of living - measured by purchasing power, based on real GDP per capita adjusted for the local cost of living (purchasing power parity, or PPP).

HDI establishes a minimum and a maximum for each dimension and then shows where each country stands in relation to these scales-expressed as a value between 0 and 1.


Refers to the biological differences between men and women, which are universal, obvious and generally permanent. Sex describes the biological, physical and genetic composition with which we are born.
Source: UNDP/GIPD Gender Mainstreaming Glossary


Numerical information presented in aggregate forms in tables and graphs. Gender statistics offer a factual understanding of the situation of women and men in society and form the basis of national policies and programmes.


Women in development
A movement originating among liberal feminist development professionals in the early 1970's which seeks, through institutional change, social policy and programme measures, to fully integrate women in development processes.
The movement's basic aim has been equity and social justice, and has often focused on womenís economic role and emphasized the gains of integrating women into development.




















About GSP



Gender Statistics

Gender Issues