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I. Definitions: Sex vs. Gender

What is sex? Sex, is defined by the gonads either phenotypically or

genotypically. It is generally assigned at birth by external genital appearance. Gender
on the other hand is identified by one’s own identification as male, female or intersex.
Gender may also be based on legal status, social interactions, public persona,
experiences. In short, sex is biologically determined, whereas gender is culturally

Gender sensitivity is the awareness and insight into the state of the other sex,
with reference to historical roots of sexist stereotyping, discrimination and violence.
Another definition would be the awareness and acceptance of the roles and duties of
each, as expected from them and from the people that they work with. It
acknowledges the different roles & responsibilities of women and men in the
community and the relationships between them. Men and women are different,
therefore their experiences, needs, issues and priorities are different. Strategies are
also different to achieve equitable outcomes for women and men.

Global development aims to improve the life of every person, regardless of

ability, age, sexual orientation, gender, race, class or ethnicity.

II. Objectives:

- To reduce barriers in developing personal and economic success created by

- To generate respect for individuals regardless of sex.

III. Facts:

Gender sensitivity is an integral part of decision making in industrialized

countries where there is a growing number of female headed households, especially in
the urban setting. In less developed countries, these issues are aggravated by cheap,
gender insensitive alternatives which cause stress and discomfort especially among
females whose needs greatly differ from men.

However, Gender Sensitivity is not about pitting women against men. An

education that is gender sensitive benefits members of both sexes.

Sexism creates bias and promotes an unjust society. It exists both among men
and among women. It does not respect individuals according to their aspirations,
potentials or abilities.

IV. Issues on Gender Sensitivity

IV. A. Gender Roles

1. Productive – comprises the work done by both women and men for payment
in cash or kind
2. Reproductive – comprises the childbearing responsibilities and domestic tasks
required to guarantee the maintenance and wellbeing of household members.
It includes not only biological reproduction but also the care and maintenance
of the persons who comprise the household.
3. Community management role – comprises activities undertaken at the
community level to contribute to the development or political organization of
the community. It is usually voluntary, unpaid work.

Role and Status of the Filipina:

- 1990’s  women in more than just a portion of professions, however

mainly comprising of domestic service (91%), professional and technical
positions (59.4%) and sales (57%).
- 1990’s  women represented 64% of college graduates but held only 159
of 982 (16%) of career top executive positions at the civil service and only
15% in the private sector.
- Gender discrimination:
o Sexual differences are biological differences and gender
differences are socially or culturally constructed.
o Sexism – prejudice or discrimination on the grounds of sex,
especially against women.
 Attitude or mindset which “justifies” main control over
women, headship for the man and subordination for women
& such attitude often justifies discrimination and violence
against women.
 Restricts perception of dignity and worth of women, denies
their contribution to society, and makes their rights and
opportunities conditional, resulting in their vulnerability
o In the workplace, denial of employments to women due to
women’s reproductive role or rigidity in attitude, which hinders the
reproductive role of women.
 E.g. non-flexible work hours and timings, non-availability
of day care services, lack of maternity leave.
- Society Preference for Boys
o The female sex has traditionally been percieved as inferior to men.
o In several areas of the world, new boys are a cause of celebration
but girls are considered as a financial burden.
- Women have the traditional role as mothers and housekeepers, helpers,
onlookers, care providers and carriers… While Men are depicted as
decision-makers, businessmen and doctors.