Exploring Gender and Gender Identity in Our Schools

In this very interactive workshop, participants will learn about a variety of gender- related issues, and will have a chance to truly understand the challenges and benefits of their own and others’ genders. This timely and important workshop will also explore and clarify the topic of gender in all its complexity within the context of education.

Learning Outcomes:

In order to be able to incorporate a gender perspective into education and its responses to gender-based incidents, it is critical to understand the meaning of gender as opposed to sex.

  • Sex refers to the biological and physiological characteristics that define men and women (WHO). At the same time, it may not always be possible to define sex along the dichotomous lines of male-female only, as is made evident by inter-sexed individuals.
  • Gender refers to the socially constructed roles, behaviours, activities and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for men and women (WHO). While sex and its associated biological functions are programmed genetically, gender roles and power relations and the power relations they reflect are a social construct – they vary across cultures and through time, and thus are amenable to change.
  • Gender roles are the particular economic, social roles and responsibilities considered appropriate for women and men in a given society. Gender roles and characteristics do not exist in isolation, but are defined in relation to one another and through the relationship between women and men, girls and boys.
  • Gender equality refers to the equal rights, responsibilities and opportunities of women and menand girls and boys. Gender equality implies that the interests, needs and priorities of both, women and men are taken into consideration, recognizing the diversity of different groups women and men(for example: women belonging to ethnic minorities, lesbian women or women with disabilities). Gender equality is both, a human rights principle and a precondition for sustainable, people-centered development (adapted from UN Women).