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Gender
Gender
Gender is defined as "a cultural construct consisting of a set of distinguishable characteristics associated with each sex". Gender is a construction by the society by which men and women are categorized into two divisions and each division is expected to behave in a specified way and perform certain roles and tasks. Gender refers to the socio-cultural definition of man and woman, the way in which they are differentiated and assigned socially acceptable roles. These are maintained, sustained by multiple structures like family, community, society, ethnicity, and through tools like culture, language, education, media and religion. For ages, we have been socialized into believing that the different categories, roles and status accorded to men and women in society is determined by biology i.e. sex, that they are natural and constant and therefore not changeable. In a way, women and their bodies are held responsible for their specific roles and subsequently their subordinate status in society.

People often use the word "Gender" as a synonym for "Sex". The two terms are however different from each other. Sex, as defined by Susan Basow, is a biological term referring to people, animals, etc., being either female or male depending on their sex organs or genes. Sex also refers to the differences between individuals that make them male or female. These differences are biologically determined. Gender is defined as 'a cultural construct consisting of a set of distinguishable characteristics associated with each sex '. Thus gender is a construction by the society by which men and women are categorized into two divisions. Each division is expected to behave in a specified way and also perform certain roles and tasks.

Gender refers to both women and men, and the unequal power and societal relations between them. We talk more about women when we talk of gender as women tend to be more at a disadvantageous position in society as compared to men. We will largely focus on the gender related issues of women and girls in a disaster scenario.

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