Skip to main content

Table 2 Key definitions

From: Integration of gender-transformative interventions into health professional education reform for the 21st century: implications of an expert review

Bias [43]
An inclination or prejudice for or against one person or group, especially in a way considered to be unfair, that often results in discrimination.
Discrimination in employment and occupation [33]
Practices that place individuals in a subordinate or disadvantaged position in school, the workplace, or the labor market because of characteristics (e.g., race, sex, age, religion, or other attribute) that bear no relation to the person’s competencies or the inherent requirements of the job. Discrimination occurs when bias is enacted.
Equal opportunity and non-discrimination [44]
The offering of employment, pay, or promotion to all, without discrimination as to sex, race, color, disability, and so forth.
Gender-blind [23]
Gender-blind policies and programs that are designed without prior analysis of culturally defined economic, social, and political roles, responsibilities, rights, entitlements, obligations, and power relations associated with being female and male and the dynamics between and among men and women, boys and girls. Gender-blind policies and programs ignore gender considerations altogether.
Gender discrimination [45]
Any distinction, exclusion, or restriction made on the basis of socially constructed gender roles and norms that prevents a person from enjoying full human rights.
Gender equality (in the health workforce) [46]
A condition where women and men can enter the health occupation of their choice, develop the requisite skills and knowledge, be fairly paid, enjoy fair and safe working conditions, and advance in a career, without reference to gender. It implies that health professional education schools and workplaces are structured to integrate family and work to reflect the value of caregiving for women and men.
Gender inequality
Denotes the gender-based differences that result from gender discrimination and serve to diminish or enhance individuals’ opportunities, access, power, conditions, and/or income.
Gender transformative [23]
Policies and programs that seek to transform gender relations to promote equality and achieve program objectives. This approach attempts to promote gender equality by (1) fostering critical examination of inequalities and gender roles, norms, and dynamics; (2) recognizing and strengthening positive norms that support equality and an enabling environment; and (3) promoting the relative position of women, girls, and marginalized groups and transforming the underlying social structures, policies, and broadly held social norms that perpetuate gender inequalities.
Special measures [19]
Programs, policies, and laws that seek to neutralize and redress embedded structures of discrimination and preferences for privileged groups that are already built into social institutions. Such affirmative measures place women or other marginalized groups in a situation of comparative advantage for a limited period, with the aim of achieving substantive equality in the long term.
Substantive equality [19]
Takes into account the effects of past discrimination and recognizes that rights, entitlements, opportunities, and access are not equally distributed throughout society and therefore the need to sometimes treat people differently (through special measures) to achieve equal results.
Systemic structural discrimination [19]
Patterns of behavior, policies or practices, and social, economic, or cultural background conditions that are part of the structures of institutions, which create or perpetuate disadvantage for members of a marginalized group relative to other groups in society or organizations.
A feminist theory and analytical tool for understanding and responding to the ways in which gender intersects with other identities. The experiences of marginalization and privilege are not only defined by gender but by other identity factors, such as race, class, and sexual orientation to name a few—all of which are determined, shaped by, and imbedded in social systems of power. Intersectional paradigms view race, class, gender sexuality, and ethnicity among others as mutually constructing systems of power ([47, 48]; references 36, 4952 present the theoretical and methodological issues and opportunities related to this theory).