Key Terms

Woman - a woman is anyone who identifies as so, including cis women (those whose gender identity as a woman is the same as the sex they were assigned at birth) and trans women.

Sex - sex is assigned at birth depending on the genitalia and/or reproductive functions a person is born with.

Sexual orientation – refers to a person’s physical, romantic and/or emotional attraction towards other people. Everyone has a sexual orientation, which is integral to a person’s identity. Gay men and lesbian women are attracted to individuals of the same sex as themselves. Heterosexual people are attracted to individuals of a different sex from themselves. Bisexual people may be attracted to individuals of the same or different sex (adapted from United Nations).

Gender - gender relates to the performance and/or expression of social and cultural constructions of ‘femininity’ and ‘masculinity’. It is often described as a ‘feeling inside’.

Gender equality - is when people of all genders have equal rights, responsibilities and opportunities. Everyone is affected by gender inequality - women, men, trans and gender diverse people, children and families.

Gender Stereotypes - gender stereotypes are the social and cultural expectations that are put onto individuals depending on whether they are perceived as ‘male’ or ‘female’.

Primary Prevention - primary prevention aims to tackle the root cause of VAWG – gender inequality in order to eradicate it. We aim to prevent VAWG from ever happening by challenging the attitudes, values and structures that sustain, justify and promote inequality and violence.

Intersectionality - is defined as the understanding that people's identities and social positions are uniquely shaped by several factors at the same time, creating unique experiences and perspectives. These factors include, among others race, sexuality, gender identity, disability, age, class, nationality, and faith.

LGBTQ+ - LBTQ stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer (the + encompasses other identities such as non-binary, asexual, and others) and refers to people who identify with one or more of these identities.

Non-binary - non-binary is a general term for people whose gender identity does not correspond with ‘female’ or ‘male’. Non-binary identities are not singular and vary individually.

Intersex - someone is intersex if they are born with a body that does not fit into the binary. Often, babies undergo surgery in order to make their bodies more closely fit into the binary of ‘male’ or ‘female’.

Cis gender or cis - someone whose gender identity is the same as the sex they were assigned at birth.

Gender Dysphoria - a term for the discomfort and distress experienced by a person whose gender identity is not the same as the sex that they were assigned at birth.

Gender Expression - the act of expressing gender within a context of societal gender expectations. A person that expresses their gender in a manner that does not conform to societal expectations may not, however, identify as trans.

Trans History - Trans history relates to a person who identifies as a man or a woman, but whose sex assigned at birth does not correspond to this gender identity.

Ally - Typically, a person with some privilege supporting and taking action with a marginalised group of people. For example, a straight or cis person supporting members of the LGBTQI+ community.

Gendered Analysis - a gendered analysis is a way of looking at the world which takes account of the differences in men's and women's lives and how this affects them, for example health, employment, opportunities and so on. It recognises that taking a "gender neutral" approach, that is assuming the same for everyone, can cause disadvantage to both men and women.

Gender Architecture - gender architecture refers to the way the state is set up to enable women’s rights and equality. It refers to laws, budgeting, parliamentary committees, and so on.

Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) - VAWG is violence that is perpetrated (largely by men) on women and girls due to their gender identities. VAWG is a consequence of gender inequality. This term is used most frequently as women and girls are the primary sufferers of GBV.

Gender-Based Violence (GBV) - GBV is violence that is perpetrated on someone because of their gender identity, or their perceived gender identity.

Victim - we use the term ‘victim’ either where someone describes themselves as so, or where the person has been killed as a consequence of GBV.

Survivor - we use the term ‘survivor’ generally for those who have suffered GBV. We use this term over ‘victim’ so as to avoid re-victimisation of survivors.

Consent - by consent, we mean when someone agrees, gives permission, or says "yes" to sexual activity with other persons. Consent should be freely given and all people in a sexual situation must feel that they are able to say "yes" or "no" or stop the sexual activity at any point. Consent can also be withdrawn at any point and should never be assumed. The law states that a person is not capable of giving consent if they are too drunk, too far under the influence of drugs or are unconscious.

Misogyny - misogyny is the belief that women are inferior to men, due to inherent ‘gendered’ characteristics. Misogyny often leads to behaviours of intolerance and violence, and includes transmisogyny (a form of gendered oppression targeted at trans women).

Discrimination – behaviours and practices resulting in avoidable and unfair inequalities across groups in society (Paradies et al., 2009). This definition encompasses overt forms of prejudice, violence, open threats and rejection, as well as subtle forms such as bias, exclusion and using stereotypes. Discrimination can occur at individual, interpersonal, organizational, community and societal levels.

Commercial Sexual Exploitation (CSE) - CSE refers to a multitude of practices by which someone achieves sexual gratification, financial gain, advancement, and so on through the abuse of a person’s sexuality, such as stripping, lap-dancing, and prostitution. We believe CSE normalises the treatment of women as objects and as such is harmful, and a heavily gendered issue.

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