WHAT IS GENDER
Many times when people talk of gender, they are always referring to women. It is rare for people to talk of gender when there are only men without a lady or when there are only women without a man. However the actual meaning of gender is the social attributes and the opportunities associated with being male and female and also the relationships between women and men and the relationship that exist between girls and boys, as well as the relations between women themselves and those between men themselves. Therefore these attributes, opportunities and relationships are socially constructed and are learned through the process of interacting or socialization. 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 responsibilities assigned, activities undertaken, access to and control over resources, as well as decision-making opportunities. Some places women are restricted to certain functions and men too are restricted to certain functions. Gender is part of the broader socio-cultural context. Other important criteria for socio-cultural analysis includes class, race, poverty level, ethnic group and age (International Telecommunication Union.2011) The other definition of gender is that it is a socially constructed definition of women and men and it is not the same as sex (biological characteristics of women and men) and it is not the same as women. Gender in most cases is determined by the conception of tasks, functions and roles attributed to women and men in society and in public and private life (Web.2011.Gender in practice- Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation). Gender also refers to the socially constructed roles of and relations between men and women, while sex refers to biological characteristics which define humans as female or male. These biological characteristics are not mutually exclusive...
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