AfghanGenderCafe.org

What is Gender?

 
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vic



Joined: 30 Jul 2006
Posts: 19

PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2006 5:43 am    Post subject: What is Gender? Reply with quote

Greetings, This site is the outcome of a roundtable discussion that took place in Kabul, Afghanistan on June 27, 2006. A comment I received from quite a few people during the planning of the roundtable centered on the fuzzy concept: Gender. It's often interpreted, particularly in 'development' work as - women. That's a problem. Another problem is that there is no word for it in Dari or French. I presume the same is true in other languages, as well.

What is it? What are the best ways to communicate the complexity of the concept? How do you talk about it in your work?

Let's talk.

Vic
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Farnworth



Joined: 02 Aug 2006
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 12:04 pm    Post subject: Doing Gender Reply with quote

I agree that the word gender is problematic, in English as well as in other European languages like the ones I know, German and French.

I suggest that a working group (Dari/Pashto speakers) be set up to discuss how best to convey the concept of gender/ gender analysis etc in these languages. What word or phrase would be most appropriate? The working group should also advise non-Dari / Pashto speakers how best to explain gender and associated terms in English to Afghans. It is useful to know which explanatory approaches resonate ...

Cathy
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vic



Joined: 30 Jul 2006
Posts: 19

PostPosted: Sat Aug 12, 2006 1:15 am    Post subject: Can't take clear pictures of fuzzy objects Reply with quote

Thanks for posting, Cathy. This is such a complex, complicated, politicized and emotionally laden concept. (See the notes from Lina I posted under another topic in this forum). I'll do some research to see how it's been addressed in other contexts. Perhaps we can learn from that.

Anyone?

Vic
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vic



Joined: 30 Jul 2006
Posts: 19

PostPosted: Sat Aug 26, 2006 9:46 am    Post subject: One conceptualization of gender I find useful Reply with quote

One of the things discussed at the Roundtable was the fact that gender is such a complex and complicated concept. How do people communicate about something like this without having a shared understanding? Here's one conceptualization that I've used. What do you think?

Gender

"The social roles, expectations, behaviors and attitudes of men and women defined by the social norms of their societies. Because gender roles are socially constructed they are not static concepts but they vary from society to society and change over time."

These roles are often reified, that is, believed to be inherent in individuals. We see the consequences of reifying gender in the unquestioning acceptance of unequal power relations. To question roles is an act of resistence.

How do we talk about challenging unequal power relations in the context of Afghanistan? Some of us have facilitated 'gender sensitivity training.' What can you tell us about that experience? What about people who've taken this training? Was it useful? Did it change your thinking? How?

I'd really like to know.

Vic
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