Glossary Term


The socially constructed roles, responsibilities, and identities for women and men and how these are valued in society. They are culture-specific and they change over time. Gender identities define how women and men are expected to think and act. These behaviors are learned from family, schools, religious teaching, and the media. Since gender roles, responsibilities, and identities are socially learned, they can also be changed.

Gender, together with age group, sexual orientation, and gender identity, determines roles, responsibilities, power dynamics, and access to resources. This is also affected by other diversity factors such as disability, social class, race, caste, ethnic or religious background, economic wealth, marital status, migrant status, displacement situation, and urban or rural setting.