Gender Vs Sex
Last edit: 23:09, 8 March 2011
Hi Greg and Simon,
Thank you for your interesting discussion on the differences between Sex, Gender and gender roles. You are both right on the definitions that you gave for Sex and gender. Thank you Simon for the examples that you gave on the sex characteristics and gender characteristics.
In addition to what both of you said about gender, kindly remember that the social differences and relations between women and men including young women and young men are learned and can change over time if people want to. For example, the gender characteristics that Simon gave in the united States, Saudi Arabia and in the whole world, will change over time especially when these countries and their societies have gender equality because they are not biological/sex differences.
As for the gender roles Greg, is not what women and man are supposed to do but rather what women and men actually already do
Greg, you are right that trainers should consider gender issues and constraints when conducting training so that women and girls can also participate equally while at the same time are given an opportunity to continue with household chores. You should however remember that household chores such as looking after their families are gender roles which can be carried out by their husbands and other male relatives when the women are participating in some training programmes.
What do are the other participants saying about this discussion? Participants ...
Simonda, You are right by saying that household chores can also be done by males. I think that's the gender socialization we need to appreciate. For us young people, it starts with how we relate to our girlfriends, and later on wives, we can change our attitudes about who does the chores and break the cycle today. So that even when we have families of our own, we shall show by example to our children that men can also do what has for a long time been believed to be a woman's role.
In terms of training, I feel that trainers need to aim at questioning gender norms and attitudes in their participants, both males and females. Especially challenging negative masculinity which lead to a lot of gender injustices.
Allow me to contribute by asking a question. Have we notice at least in Zambia that house maids are normally women and garden boys are men. In the colonial days that is pre-1964 and even a few years after Independence, men used to work as 'house maids'. What could have caused the shift?
GabKon What a great question. To answer you, I think the fact that women are now maids is a step in the right direction on its own. Then we had men as house boys because women could not be employed in Zambia and they were not even allowed to travel, for instance go to the Copperbelt or major towns. So they stayed in the villages, farming and keeping their children. that is why men were employed as both garden boys and house boys...
SO now, after Independence and travel restrictions on women were lifted, women needed to find work. At that point, they could either pick on gardening or house keeping, and due to gender norms, the house jobs were left to the women and men took up exterior jobs like gardening until this day. But we know that the best professional renowned cooks are male, so there is no excuse for men refusing to cook in the home.
Do I make sense?
Well, so many things could have caused this change. May be the jobs of house maids were lass masculine as compared to a garden boy so it could have been perceived that men could in addition do less masculine jobs such as "house maids". It may also suggest that this was borrowed from the western culture. It may also be that, the employers fell more comfortable working with men as they could double as both house maids and garden boys at certain times. That is my little contribution.--Kafuiaheto 21:27, 9 March 2011 (UTC)
Last edit: 19:05, 9 March 2011
Hi all-Ubandoma, Rabrod, Remmy, GabKan, Chichi, Remmy, Gabriel and Shining Star,
You all have very interesting discussions and contributions. Your discussions also shows how much interest you have in the session and also that you have knowledge on the subject matter.
However, I want to make the following comments to all of you.
- You have all understood the difference between sex and gender and gender roles. Ubandoma and others, it is however important to remember that gender roles are roles that both women and men already do and not society expects them to do. What society expects men and women to do is something else.
- Rabrod, I was going to give you the same explanation as the one that Remmy has given you on why talk about gender and your reasons why you think that women should get low salaries than men because they work less hours than men due to some reproductive roles. The reproductive roles of getting pregnant, going on maternity leave etc are additional roles for a professional woman and do not stop her from doing her job in a professional manner like a male-folk. Therefore, it is not right for that woman to get the same salary as the man if they have same qualifications. Roles like looking after a child are gender roles and hence the current advocate for maternity leave foe men so that they can share the role of looking after the baby until the baby is big enough to be left in the hands of a helper or to be taken to a baby class/nursery. Besides, working class women help their husbands in providing for the family from the salary that they get and this used to be a man's role by tradition.
- The discussion by GabKan on women to be allowed to participate in training programmes with their babies and maids is very encouraging. I know of a number of organizations in Zambia that provide such kind of support to women. I agree with you GabKan and this kind of practice will give an opportunity for many women to participate in developmental programmes such as training, women can travel out on duty without any problems if supported to resolve such kind of gender constraints.
- Chichi, gender and sex are not the same. Gender characteristics are not characteristics that makes a difference between a man and a woman. It is sex which makes a woman different from a man. As said by your colleagues before, a man is different from a woman because he has a penis and testicles while a woman has a vagina, a man can impregnate a woman and a woman gets impregnated etc.. Gender characteristics can be changed while the sex characteristics can not be changed-Refer to Simon's examples.
Chichi, you talked of women who want to change themselves into men through an operation and vise versa. I want to believe that there is a sex desire and even whether they got the operation, biologically they can not change their sex which God gave them. They may manage to change the outer organs but they can not pregnant women and the men who change to women can not get pregnant in the normal way.
- GabKan, Women can also own properties like houses just like men in Nigeria or any other country. I am sure that in Nollywood, you have also seen women who own houses and keep men. All what matters is for a woman or man to have money to buy a house. Those men that tell women to leave their homes if divorced, means that the men acquired the houses before marrying the woman. In many countries, there are laws that protects women. Such roles state that what ever property that a couple acquires while married belongs to both of them. So if they were staying in a house which they acquired while married, a man can not tell a woman to leave his home. If they get divorced, the house may be sold so that they share the money.
Remmy has given very good explanation to your question on why women can only work as housemaids and men as garden boys these days. What is important for you to remember is that to be a house maid or garden person is a gender role which can be done by both men and women. There is nothing biological/sex about it. Thank you Remmy again for your discussion over this.
- Remmy, we are discussing about gender so that the young people that you work with can get the correct information and knowledge on gender as they prepare themselves to be adults who will have their own families. This will enable them to be able to work together with their spouses for the benefit of their families, communities and the country as a whole.
- Thank you also for your contributions Gabriel and shining Star. You were also very correct with what you said.
Lastly but not the least, thank you all for your interesting contributions on the differences between sex and gender and what gender roles are.
What do you understand by gender equality and gender norms/values/stereotypes?
Thanks Remmy, GabKon, Simonda,
after learning from you all I have gotten something especialy that the issue of gender I didnt whant to hear it becourse I thought it has come to make a man and a woman the same. but I have few findings bellow:
- Gender equality is ensuring the fair and equitable treatment of all girls and boys, women and men in the education system.
Source: UNESCO (2003). Gender and Education for All: The Leap to Equality. Paris: UNESCO
- The ways that girls and boys experience teaching and learning in the classroom can be markedly different, influencing their class participation, educational achievement and learning outcomes:
- Social and cultural values and stereotypes about gender can be inadvertently reinforced in the classroom and at school through teacher-pupil and pupil-pupil interaction (see text box below for specific examples).
- Teaching approaches and methods used to reach engage and assess students, may also favour boys, particularly in societies where girls are discouraged from speaking in public, expressing their opinions or questioning male authority.
- Finally, sexual harassment and sexual abuse by teachers or peers can be widespread and its sanction is often ignored by authorities; the teacher’s behaviour may be treated as either unexceptional or the victim’s fault, despite how frequently it may result in early pregnancy and school drop-out.
- Gender equality is not about the cancellation of differences between man and woman, nor is it about making woman and woman the same. Gender equality is about providing equal opportunities and chances to both woman and man
Source: Canadian International Development Agency TIP SHEETS – JUNE 2010 --RABROD 12:52, 10 March 2011 (UTC)