Agency: Agency refers to capabilities and, in the context of this toolkit, particularly to women’s capabilities. It stresses the capacity of an agent (an individual person or other entity) to act independently, to make their own free choices, and to implement those choices without rebuke. These agents engage with social structures (see Structure).

Gender: The set of socially constructed roles, behaviors, responsibilities, and attributes a society considers appropriate for men and women.

Gender blind: A study or project that lacks awareness of the different roles, responsibilities, resources, or experiences of men and women.

Gender capacity: The technical, cultural, organizational and material resources needed to respond effectively to both men and women’s needs.

Gender disaggregation: The process of separating information or data into male and female categories.

Gender equality: The concept that both men and women are free to develop their personal abilities, and make choices without limitations set by stereotypes, rigid gender roles or prejudices. Gender equality means that the different behaviors, aspirations and needs of women and men are considered, valued and favored equally. It does not mean that women and men have to become the same, but that their rights, responsibilities and opportunities will not depend on whether they are born male or female.

Gender equity: Gender equity means fairness in treatment for women and men according to their respective needs. This may include equal treatment, but often women and men need to receive different treatment in order to receive the same benefits and to exercise their rights. In the development context, gender equity often requires inbuilt measures to compensate for the historical and social disadvantages of women, such as restrictions on mobility or access to education. Alternatively, it may mean projects target women only.

Gender mainstreaming: An organizational strategy designed to introduce a gender perspective to all aspects of an institution’s policies and activities. This can be achieved by building gender capacity and accountability, with the intention of contributing to gender equality.

Gender sensitivity: An awareness of men and women’s differing needs, based on their social roles, responsibilities, and constraints, coupled with responses that are adapted to those needs.

Gender sensitization: The process of making a party or project aware of the different ways in which men and women will be impacted by policies, programs, and other factors.

Gender-neutral interventions: Interventions that work within the existing gender division of resources and responsibilities.

Gender-specific interventions: Interventions that use knowledge of gender differences in a given context to respond to the practical needs of women or men. They still work within the existing gender division of resources and responsibilities.

Gender-redistributive interventions: These transform existing distributions of power and resources to create a more balanced relationship between women and men, touching on strategic gender interests like decision-making power, ownership and representation, in addition to practical gender needs.

Sex: The biological differences between men and women.

Structure: Institutions that either limit or create opportunities for individuals. Institutions can be both formal and informal. Informal institutions include social class, values, religion, customs, and ways of doing things (habits); formal institutions refer to laws and regulations.