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Gender and development: Voices from a seminar
Happened to participate in a seminar related to 'women and development' in Delhi last week where in the concepts of gender and development were discussed. The seminar dominated by women participants felt proud that the event was being organized as a run up to the International Women's Day to be observed on March 8.

I took notes and tried to find out the central thoughts, catch phrases and punch lines which are described below.

The term "Sex" pertains to the biological and physiological characteristics that categorise humans as men and women or male and female.

On the other hand, "Gender" refers to the socially constructed roles, behaviours and psycho-social attributes that a given Dominant groups in society considers appropriate for men and women to call them "masculine" and "feminine" roles.

One of the presenters said that the day a daughter would say that she wanted to be like her father, and the son would say that he wanted be like his mother, the family would achieve gender equity.

Some important voices from the seminar were as follows.

  • A normative development model is authoritative by itself; only participatory and enabling models lead to gender equity.

  • Equity does not mean sameness or uniformity since such notion is ingrained in gender-blind meritocracy.

  • Gender social constructs of masculinity and feminity are outcomes of patriarchy or unequal power relationships which need to be de-structured and restructured in equal power relationships.

  • There are challenges in considering yourself as man or woman, better consider yourself as human being.

  • Social Empowerment through education and equal participation in household decision making along with economic independence can lead to gender justice and equitable society.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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