The glossary provides you with definitions and explanations of terms used in the gender and climate change context.

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Empowered people take control over their lives, pursuing their goals and living according to their values. Empowered people make their own choices and exert influence upon what affects their lives, both individually and collectively. Empowerment is a complex, long-term process, particularly when it concerns people who have been oppressed and marginalised, and who need to develop capacities and acquire resources.

Equal opportunities

for women and men are limited by barriers to economic, political and social participation. Such barriers are often indirect and difficult to pin down. They are caused by deep-rooted cultural beliefs and well-established societal structures. An equal opportunities approach goes beyond overcoming direct discrimination.



refers to the social construction of women and men, of femininity and masculinity. The term emphasises social roles and responsibilities that are assigned to women and men, and (re)produced on a day-to-day-basis (‘doing gender’). However, gender roles may be different according to culture or religion, and they may change.

Gender equality

exists where girls and boys, men and women can develop their individual potentials and make choices without being limited by gender roles. In a gender equal society differences between women and men are regarded with equal respect and favour.

Gender identity

refers to the external manifestation of one's gender, through "masculine," "feminine," or gender-variant or gender neutral behaviour, clothing, nutrition, use of goods, or body characteristics.

Gender justice

is going a step beyond gender equality, asking not only for fair distribution and recognition, not only for affirmation but for transformation of societal and economic systems and structures. Gender Justice means, for example, to change hierarchic gender relations by questioning androcentric perspectives, norms and rationalities and ultimately questioning the need for extensive hierarchy and power differences as ‘normal’ and accepted characteristics of societies.

Gender norms

define what society considers male and female behavior, and it leads to the formation of gender roles, which are the roles males and females are expected to take in society.

Gender relations

are the ways in which a culture or society defines rights, responsibilities, and the identities of men and women in relation to one another. Gender relations are power relations between women and men, often placing women in a subordinated position in society with respect to men.

Gender responsive

considers gender specific needs based on gendered  responsibilities and how they are impacted by policy measures in reaction to existing inequalitites.

Gender role

is a set of social and behavioral norms that are generally considered appropriate for either a man or a woman in a social or interpersonal relationship. Gender roles differ according to cultural-historical context.

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