Equality between women and men (Gender Equality)

Equality between women and men (Gender Equality) refers to the equal rights, responsibilities and opportunities of women and men and girls and boys. Equality does not mean that women and men will become the same but that women’s and men’s rights, responsibilities and opportunities will not depend on whether they are born male or female.

Gender equality implies that the interests, needs and priorities of both women and men are taken into consideration, recognizing the diversity of different groups of women and men. Gender equality is not a women’s issue but should concern and fully engage men as well as women. Equality between women and men is seen both as a human rights issue and as a precondition for, and indicator of, sustainable people-centered development [1].

[1] Source: UN Women, available at Concepts and Definitions




Gender – a socio-cultural process— refers to cultural and social attitudes that together shape and sanction “feminine” and “masculine” behaviours, products, technologies, environments, and knowledges. “Feminine” and “masculine” describe attitudes and behaviours on a continuum of gender identities. Gender does not necessarily match sex [1].

[1] Source:  http://genderedinnovations.stanford.edu/terms/gender.html

Gender aware research

Gender aware research demonstrates knowledge of women’s and men’s needs, interests and assets. It collects sex disaggregated data however, the research does not set out to analyse the underlying inequalities between men and women [1] .

[1] Source: Integrating Gender into Forestry Research (Center for International Forestry Research, 2012, p.48).

Gender blind research

Gender blind research does not account for the diff­erences between men and women. It can ignore or misuse the existence of gender di­fferences to pursue research outcomes. It overlooks women’s groups and interests and reinforces unequal power relations [1] . Gender-blind research does not take gender into account, being based on the often incorrect assumption that possible differences between men and women are not relevant for the research at hand [2].

[1] Source: Integrating Gender into Forestry Research (Center for International Forestry Research, 2012, p.48)

[2] Source: Toolkit - Gender in EU-funded research (EC, 2009). Part 1.2

Gender dimension in research

Gender dimension in research means integrating sex and gender analysis into all phases of basic and applied research—from setting priorities, to funding decisions, to establishing project objectives and methodologies, to data gathering, analyzing results, and evaluation [1].

[1] Source: http://genderedinnovations.stanford.edu/terms/dimension.html


Gender Mainstreaming

Gender Mainstreaming is a globally accepted strategy for promoting gender equality. Mainstreaming is not an end in itself but a strategy, an approach, a means to achieve the goal of gender equality. Mainstreaming involves ensuring that gender perspectives and attention to the goal of gender equality are central to all activities - policy development, research, advocacy/ dialogue, legislation, resource allocation, and planning, implementation and monitoring of programmes and projects [1].

[1] Source: UN Women, available at Gender Mainstreaming

Gender transformative research

Gender transformative research accounts for gender differences and inequalities from the start and designs a sound research plan to address these differences. It sets out to transform the relationships between men and women that produce inequalities [1].

[1] Source: Integrating Gender into Forestry Research (Center for International Forestry Research, 2012, p.48)

Gender-sensitive research

Gender-sensitive research takes into account the differences between men and women in all aspects of the research, from an initial idea, formulating research questions, objectives and methodologies to the outcomes and presentation of results. Apart from integrating gender into the content, gender-sensitive approach strives to provide equal participation of both women and men in scientific work. Gender-sensitive approach takes into account transgender and transsexual population as well [1] .

[1] Source: Toolkit for Integrating Gender-Sensitive Approach into Research and Teaching (GARCIA Working Papers 6, 2015, p.4)

Gender-specific research

Gender-specific research focuses on gender itself as a subject matter [1]. It is increasingly more usual to describe the field of study to which gender and gender relations are central as “gender studies” rather than “women’s studies”, which reflects an historical, chronological shift as well as intellectual connections and the growth of empirical research in the field. Although gender studies are relatively recent in the academy, most work in this area builds upon the growth of the women’s movement as part of the identity politics of the 1970s and 1980s and the development of Women’s Studies Centres in North American, Australian and European countries. All these centres were characterized by emancipatory aspirations that sought to provide robust empirical evidence and scholarly bases for political change, in particular by putting gender, and […] women onto the political agenda and into discourse [2]. It is also related to the term “feminist studies”. Feminist studies, especially feminist theories, remain central to the [gender studies] field, although gender studies, like women’s studies are marked by diverse, and sometimes overlapping intellectual traditions and movements […] The shift towards gender studies also reflects a widening intellectual base, to include, among others, critical studies of masculinity, LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer) studies, ecological feminism, techno-science studies, etc [3].

[1] Source: Toolkit - Gender in EU-funded research (EC, 2009). Part 1.2

[2] Source: Woodward, Kath & Woodward, Sophie (2015). Gender studies and interdisciplinarity. Palgrave Communications, article no. 15018. (p.2 of PDF version available at http://www.palgrave-journals.com/articles/palcomms201518)

[3] Ibídem


Integrating Gender Analysis into Research (IGAR)

Integrating Gender Analysis into Research (IGAR, also known as “incorporating the gender dimension into research content”) refers to the use of sex- and/or gender-based analysis in all the phases of the research cycle. In some projects only a sex analysis is relevant to the research problem (e.g. preclinical studies on cells and tissues, and in animals in many cases, given that an over-reliance on male animals, and neglect of attention to the sex of cells, can lead to neglect of key sex differences that should be guiding clinical studies, and ultimately, clinical practice [1]). In some other cases, only a gender analysis is necessary (mainly in studies where biological differences do not play a role). Gender inequalities, however, are based in the structural gendered division of labour and power and are crucial to understand and take into account the different interests, needs, behaviours, roles, stereotypes, constraints, etc. of women and men regarding their access to resources, power, positions, activities, etc. Study results may then affect the social and economic relationships between these groups, for instance, reduce the existing gender inequalities by means of developing new tools aimed to detect and prevent gender-based violence. And in other cases, both sex and gender interact in a particular study. In some instances sex and gender cannot be distinguished, as for example in studies of nutrition or exercise, where hormonal, physiological, and cultural factors can influence the likelihood of disease [2] . Therefore, as a concept, ‘IGAR’ also  covers the inclusion of sex analysis (not only gender), and is used as such in the present report.

[1] Source: NIH Takes Steps to Address Sex Differences in Preclinical Research

[2] Source: LERU (2015). Gender and sex matter in research: Twenty recommendations from Europe’s research universities. For instance, traditional gender attitudes towards beauty and body image have biased research on eating disorders. This research field has only recently come to focus on male experience. A paper by Chengyuan Zhang (2014) tracks the evolution of approaches to anorexia nervosa in men since 1873.The study by Ulla Räisänen & Kate Hunt (2014) has showed that the widespread perception of Eating Disorders (EDs) as uniquely or predominantly a female problem led to an initial failure by young men to recognise their behaviours as symptoms of an ED

Integrating Gender Analysis into University Curricula (IGAUC)

Integrating Gender Analysis into University Curricula (IGAUC) means effectively integrating the gender analysis into all contents and information passed in the higher education process to future active social agents, professionals and future researchers. Specifically has to do with guiding students to develop skills aimed at Integrating the Gender Analysis into Research (IGAR). It includes issues such as learning to identify gender-biases in research, and to adequately apply IGAR methods in knowledge production and transfer. Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) play a fundamental part in reducing and eventually eliminating the “gender gap in science content”. Universities are then crucial to avoid generating and transmitting knowledge which is gender-biased, and which does not integrate appropriately the needs of both men and women, thus perpetuating an unequal system of generation of scientific knowledge. It must be noted that IGAUC refers to a specific area within the gender dimension/approach in university curricula. The later also includes other issues such as inclusive teaching methods, making female scientists visible, non-sexist use of language and images, questioning gender professional stereotypes and roles, etc.


Methods for Sex and Gender Analysis

Methods for Sex and Gender Analysis are described as follows: Sex and gender can influence all stages of research or development processes, from strategic considerations for establishing priorities and building theory to more routine tasks of formulating questions, designing methodologies, and interpreting data. Many pitfalls can be avoided—and new ideas or opportunities identified—by designing sex and gender analysis into research from the start. Sex and gender analysis work alongside other methodologies in a field to provide yet further “controls” (or filters for bias) providing critical rigor in science, medicine, and engineering research, policy, and practice [1].

[1] Source: http://genderedinnovations.stanford.edu/methods-sex-and-gender-analysis.html



Sex is a biological quality or classification of sexually-reproducing organisms, generally female, male, and/or intersex, according to functions that derive from the chromosomal complement, reproductive organs, or specific hormones or environmental factors that affect the expression of phenotypic traits that are strongly associated with females or males within a given species. Hormonal (and environmental) effects, which may be organizational (differentiating) and essentially permanent, or activational, thus possibly reversible, are strongly influenced by the genetic make-up of the individual (Wallen, 2009) [1]

[1] Source:   http://ec.europa.eu/research/swafs/gendered-innovations/index_en.cfm?pg=home

Sex and Gender intersecting factors

Sex and gender also intersect in important ways with a variety of other factors. These factors or variables can be biological, socio-cultural, or psychological aspects of users, customers, experimental subjects, or cells. These factors include but are not limited to age, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, geographical location, etc [1].

[1] Source: http://genderedinnovations.stanford.edu/methods/factors.html


Sex/gender analysis

Sex/gender analysis is an umbrella term for the entire research cycle that includes the integration of sex/gender issues from the setting of the research priorities through developing methodologies, gathering and analysing data to evaluating and reporting results and transferring them to markets [1].

[1] Source Guidance on Gender Equality in Horizon 2020, European Commission, 2014, available at http://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/data/ref/h2020/grants_manual/hi/gender/h2020-hi-guide-gender_en.pdf. Also http://genderedinnovations.stanford.edu/what-is-gendered-innovations.html