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PLOTINA Working Lexicon

Objectives and process followed

The present lexicon is shared and delivered at month 2 to ensure that PLOTINA partners have a similar ‘working’ language, with a common understanding of concepts. The process involved only a number of definitions presented at the PLOTINA kick off meeting that were discussed by Partners and Advisory Board Members.

A revised draft document was circulated to the partners and the AB members present at the meeting, for further comment (on the clarity and relevance for the aims of the project). It is acknowledged that some concepts are complex, but pragmatic common working definitions are needed. A final version was finally agreed and validated. The process followed is summarised in the figure below.

lexicon process

The Consortium is aware that the definitions adopted are not perfect for every situation. The ones chosen have been selected on the basis of their wide use across different communities, their relevance to the project, and with the requirement that they will support the development of Gender Equality Plans in the cross-national variations that will underline the work packages. It is anticipated that the definitions will be dynamic and may need to be changed as PLOTINA evolves based on our experience and our reflections in operationalizing these concepts within this project. Last but not least, we expect that this Lexicon will be further enriched by more concepts that will need to be clarified as the project proceeds.

PLOTINA DEFINITIONS

Gender equality

Gender equality is the result of the absence of discrimination on the basis of a person’s gender in opportunities and the allocation of resources or benefits or in access to services.

Gender equity

Fairness of treatment for women and men, according to their respective needs and interests. This may include equal treatment or treatment that is different but considered equivalent in terms of rights, benefits, obligations and opportunities

Work and Personal Life Integration

Work is part of life, and therefore to see it in terms of a work/life interface is misleading; and ‘Personal life’ captures the range of commitments and duties which an individual may have, and which can vary across the life course, while still allowing family to be a large part of personal life for most people.

Culture/Organisational Culture

Culture consists of patterns, explicit and implicit, of and for behaviour acquired and transmitted by symbols, constituting the distinctive achievements of human groups, including their embodiment in artifacts; the essential core of culture consists of traditional (i.e. historically derived and selected) ideas and especially their attached values; culture systems may, on the one hand, be considered as products of action, on the other, as conditional elements of future action.

Organizational culture is a set of shared mental and implicit assumptions that guide interpretation and action in organizations by defining appropriate behavior for various situations


Sex

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


Gender

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


Gender identity

An individual’s internal sense of gender, which may or may not be the same as one’s gender assigned at birth. Some gender identities are "woman," "transman" and "agender" but there are many more. Gender Identities refer to how individuals and groups perceive and present themselves, and how they are perceived by others. Gender identities are context-specific.

Gender roles

Gender roles are learned behaviours in a given society, community or other social group. They condition which activities, tasks and responsibilities are perceived as appropriate to males and females respectively. Gender roles are affected by age, socio-economic class, race/ethnicity, religion, and the geographical, economic, political and cultural environment.


Stereotype

A stereotype is a widely held, simplified, and essentialist belief about a specific group. Groups are often stereotyped on the basis of sex, gender identity, race and ethnicity, nationality, age, socioeconomic status, language, and so forth. Stereotypes are deeply embedded within social institutions and wider culture. They are used to justify and maintain the historical relations of power. They are often evident even during the early stages of childhood, influencing and shaping how people interact with each other.



Gender mainstreaming

Gender mainstreaming is the (re)organisation, improvement, development and evaluation of policy processes, so that a gender equality perspective is incorporated in all policies at all levels and all stages, by the actors normally involved in policy-making.


Gender dimension

Gender dimension means integrating sex and gender analysis into research […] integrating 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.


Feminities and masculinities

"Femininities" and "masculinities" describe gender identities. They describe socio-cultural categories in everyday language; these terms are used differently in biology (see below). Because femininities and masculinities are gender identities, they are shaped by socio-cultural processes, not biology (and should not be essentialized). Femininities and masculinities are plural and dynamic; they change with culture and with individuals.


MORE INFORMATION ON THE CONCEPTS/DEFINITIONS

Gender equality

Gender equality is the result of the absence of discrimination on the basis of a person’s gender in opportunities and the allocation of resources or benefits or in access to services.

(EC, Strategy for equality between women and men 2010-2015, amended see notes)

OTHER DEFINITIONS
1) “The enjoyment of equal rights, opportunities and treatment […] in all spheres of life. It does not mean, however, that men and women are the same or must become the same”, rather that they should be “free to develop their personal abilities and make life choices without the limitations set by stereotypes or prejudices about gender roles or the characteristics of men and women” (International Labour Organisation)

2) Gender equality means an equal visibility, empowerment and participation of both sexes in all spheres of public and private life. Gender equality is the opposite of gender inequality, not of gender difference, and aims to promote the full participation of women and men in society. It means accepting and valuing equally the differences between women and men and the diverse roles they play in society. Gender equality includes the right to be different. This means taking into account the existing differences among women and men, which are related to class, political opinion, religion, ethnicity, race or sexual orientation. Gender equality means discussing how it is possible to go further, to change the structures in society which contribute to maintaining the unequal power relationships between women and men, and to reach a better balance in the various female and male values and priorities”. (Council of Europe)

Notes
This definition was adapted from the definition in the European Commission document ‘Strategy for equality between women and men 2010-2015’.
It was suggested by the Consortium to replace sex by gender since sex and gender are different concepts as reflected in the definitions below. Since we are talking about gender equality, gender was considered more appropriate. This definition was preferred by most partners and stakeholders since it was argued to be the only non-binary definition (the one that does not distinguish just between men and women) of the available definitions. The problematic nature of a binary understanding of gender was emphasised since there is a whole range of possible positions between the stereotypical understanding of women and men


Gender Equity

Fairness of treatment for women and men, according to their respective needs and interests. This may include equal treatment or treatment that is different but considered equivalent in terms of rights, benefits, obligations and opportunities


(International Labour Organisation)

OTHER DEFINITIONS
1. “Gender equity entails the provision of fairness and justice in the distribution of benefits and responsibilities between women and men. The concept recognises that women and men have different needs and power and that these differences should be identified and addressed in a manner that rectifies the imbalances between the sexes.”
(EC, Strategy for equality between women and men 2010-2015)

Notes
The highlighted definition was preferred by most partners because it was considered more straightforward and easier to understand.

Work and Personal Life Integration

Work is part of life, and therefore to see it in terms of a work/life interface is misleading; and ‘Personal life’ captures the range of commitments and duties which an individual may have, and which can vary across the life course, while still allowing family to be a large part of personal life for most people.


(ILO report –Fagan et al., 2012)

OTHER DEFINITIONS
1. Work life balance refers not only to caring for dependent relatives, but also to “extracurricular” responsibilities or important life priorities. Work arrangements should be sufficiently flexible to enable workers of both sexes to undertake lifelong learning activities and further professional and personal development, not necessarily directly related to the worker’s job. (International Labour Organisation)

Notes
The Consortium agreed that the Work and Personal Life Integration is the most appropriate concept instead of Work-Life Balance for PLOTINA since there were great difficulties in getting consensus about the ‘balance element’. The Consortium considered Definition 1 as useful in elaborating on the work and personal life included in the preferred definition. For example work arrangements should be sufficiently flexible to enable workers to undertake lifelong learning activities and further professional and personal development, not necessarily directly related to the worker’s job and personal life should refer not only to caring for dependent relatives, but also to “extracurricular” responsibilities or important life priorities.


Culture

Culture consists of patterns, explicit and implicit, of and for behaviour acquired and transmitted by symbols, constituting the distinctive achievements of human groups, including their embodiment in artifacts; the essential core of culture consists of traditional (i.e. historically derived and selected) ideas and especially their attached values; culture systems may, on the one hand, be considered as products of action, on the other, as conditional elements of future action (Kroeber & Kluckhohn 1952: 181; cited by Adler 1997: 14), [Anthropological]

Organisational Culture
Organisational culture is a set of shared mental and implicit assumptions that guide interpretation and action in organizations by defining appropriate behavior for various situations (Ravasi and Schultz, 2006, amended), [Organisation Studies]

Notes
The Consortium agreed to include both definitions because they would be both useful for this project since definition 1 comes from an anthropology perspective and definition 2 from an organisation studies’ perspective. They were both endorsed by the Consortium.
We added implicit to the mental assumptions in the organizational culture definition to reflect the potential implicit assumptions that individuals have.

Sex

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

(Gendered Innovations Website)

OTHER DEFINITIONS
1. Sex identifies the biological differences between men and women, such as women can give birth, and men provide sperm. Sex roles are universal. (EC, Strategy for equality between women and men 2010-2015)

2. A medical term designating a certain combination of gonads, chromosomes, external gender organs, secondary sex characteristics and hormonal balances. Common terms are “male, “female” and "intersex." (UC Berkeley Website, Gender Equity Resource Centre)

Notes
The Plotina definition and definition 2 were both considered appropriate due to clear reference to medical/biological characteristics and the absence of binary distinctions. However the preferred one was endorsed by most partners in the Consortium.


Gender

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

(Gendered Innovations Website)

OTHER DEFINITIONS
1. Gender identifies the social relations between men and women. It refers to the relationship between men and women, boys and girls, and how this is socially constructed. Gender roles are dynamic and change over time. (EC, Strategy for equality between women and men 2010-2015)

2. Gender refers to the socially constructed differences and relations between males and females. These vary widely among societies and cultures and change over time. The term “gender” is not interchangeable with the term “sex”, which refers exclusively to the biological differences between men and women, which are universal and do not change. Statistical data are disaggregated according to sex, whereas gender characterizes the differing roles, responsibilities, constraints, opportunities and needs of females and males in all areas and in any given social context. (International Labour Organisation)


Notes
The highlighted definition was endorsed by the Consortium because it distinguished between “sex” and “gender” and avoids the binary distinction between men and women.


Gender identity

An individual’s internal sense of gender, which may or may not be the same as one’s gender assigned at birth. Some gender identities are "woman," "transman" and "agender" but there are many more. Gender Identities refer to how individuals and groups perceive and present themselves, and how they are perceived by others. Gender identities are context-specific.

(Adapted, see notes)

 
OTHER DEFINITIONS
1. An individual’s internal sense of gender, which may or may not be the same as one’s gender assigned at birth. Some gender identities are "woman," "transman" and "agender" but there are many more. Since gender identity is internal it isn’t necessarily visible to others. (UC Berkeley Website, Gender Equity Resource Centre)

2. A person’s sense of being male or female, resulting from a combination of genetic and environmental influences and a person’s concept of being male and masculine or female and feminine, or ambivalent. (EC, Strategy for equality between women and men 2010-2015)

3. Gender Identities refer to how individuals and groups perceive and present themselves, and how they are perceived by others (Schiebinger, 1999). Gender identities are context-specific. Any individual engages in multiple femininities and masculinities (consciously or unconsciously), depending on the particular context. Transgender describes “expressions of gender characteristics, including identities that are not stereotypically associated with one’s assigned sex at birth” (WPATH, 2011).Cisgender refers to people whose sex assigned at birth is aligned with their gender identity (Gendered Innovations Website)

Notes
The Consortium decided to adapt the definition 1 adding the element of perceptions of gender identity by others and the influence on the context (using definition 3).


Gender roles

Gender roles are learned behaviours in a given society, community or other social group. They condition which activities, tasks and responsibilities are perceived as appropriate to males and females respectively. Gender roles are affected by age, socio-economic class, race/ethnicity, religion, and the geographical, economic, political and cultural environment.


(Gendered Innovations Website)

OTHER DEFINITIONS
1. Gender roles are learned behaviours in a given society/community or other special group that condition what activities, tasks and responsibilities are perceived as male or female. Gender roles are affected by age, class, race, ethnicity or religion and by the geographical, economic and political environment. Changes in gender roles often occur in response to changing economic, social or political circumstances. (EC, Strategy for equality between women and men 2010-2015)

Notes
Both definitions have been endorsed by a number of partners but the highlighted one was preferred due to the non-binary element and the inclusion of cultural environment as an important factor affecting gender roles.


Stereotype

A stereotype is a widely held, simplified, and essentialist belief about a specific group. Groups are often stereotyped on the basis of sex, gender identity, race and ethnicity, nationality, age, socioeconomic status, language, and so forth. Stereotypes are deeply embedded within social institutions and wider culture. They are used to justify and maintain the historical relations of power. They are often evident even during the early stages of childhood, influencing and shaping how people interact with each other.

(Gendered Innovations Website – amended see notes)

OTHER DEFINITIONS

1. Gender stereotypes are preconceived ideas whereby males and females are arbitrarily assigned characteristics and roles determined and limited by their sex. Sex stereotyping can limit the development of the natural talents and abilities of boys and girls, women and men, their educational and professional experiences as well as life opportunities in general Stereotypes about women both result from and are the cause of deeply engrained attitudes, values, norms and prejudices against women. They are used to justify and maintain the historical relations of power of men over women as well as sexist attitudes which are holding back the advancement of women”. (Council of Europe Gender Equality Strategy 2014-2017, page 9.)

Notes
The first definition has been endorsed by most partners. The Consortium added a sentence about power relations in the highlighted definition, which is part of definition 1.



Gender mainstreaming

Gender mainstreaming is the (re)organisation, improvement, development and evaluation of policy processes, so that a gender equality perspective is incorporated in all policies at all levels and all stages, by the actors normally involved in policy-making.

(European Commission)



Gender dimension

Gender dimension means integrating sex and gender analysis into research […] integrating 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.


(Gendered Innovations Website)



Feminities and masculinities

"Femininities" and "masculinities" describe gender identities. They describe socio-cultural categories in everyday language; these terms are used differently in biology (see below). Because femininities and masculinities are gender identities, they are shaped by socio-cultural processes, not biology (and should not be essentialized). Femininities and masculinities are plural and dynamic; they change with culture and with individuals.


(Gendered Innovations Website)


BIBLIOGRAPHY

Adler, N. (1997) International Dimensions of Organizational Behavior. 3rd ed. Ohio: South-Western College Publishing.

Council of Europe (2004) Gender Mainstreaming conceptual framework, methodology and presentation of good practices – Final Report of Activities of the Group of Specialists on Mainstreaming ,page 17.

European Commission (2011) Toolkit gender in EU-funded research. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union. Available at: http://bookshop.europa.eu/en/toolkit-gender-in-eu-funded-research-pbKINA24840/

European Commission (2010) Strategy for equality between women and men 2010-2015, Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union. Available at: http://ec.europa.eu/justice/gender-equality/files/documents/strategy_equality_women_men_en.pdf

European Commission (1998) 100 words for equality - A glossary of terms on equality between women and men. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union. Available at: http://tinyurl.com/jubf4jj

Fagan, C., Lyonette, C., Smith, M., & Saldaña-Tejeda, A. (2012). The influence of working time arrangements on work-life integration or 'balance': a review of the international evidence (No. 32). ILO.

Gendered Innovations Website: http://genderedinnovations.stanford.edu/terms.html

ILO (2007) ‘ABC of women workers’ rights and gender equality’ (Geneva). Available at: http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---dgreports/---gender/documents/publication/wcms_087314.pdf

Kroeber, A. L., & Kluckhohn, C. (1952). Culture: A critical review of concepts and definitions. Papers. Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology, Harvard University.

Ravasi, D., & Schultz, M. (2006). Responding to organizational identity threats: Exploring the role of organizational culture. Academy of management journal, 49(3), 433-458.

UC Berkeley Website, Gender Equity Resource Centre: http://geneq.berkeley.edu/lgbt_resources_definiton_of_terms