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Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI)

Key Terms

Femininity is a gender identity based on a set of traits that have been traditionally associated with women. 

In reality, femininities do not map onto biological sex and are instead learned and shaped by socio-cultural practices. There are many forms of femininity and what gets described as feminine differs by region, religion, class, national culture, and other social factors. Any one person engages in many forms of femininity which they adopt consciously and unconsciously, depending on context, the expectations of others, life stages and many other factors. 

From: Gender Innovations. (n.d.) Femininities and Masculinities

Feminism is a social movement and ideology that fights for the political, economic and social rights for women. The original aim of feminism was to declare that men and women are equal, and women deserve the same rights as men in society. The feminist movement has fought for many different causes, such as the right for women to vote, the right to work and the right to live free from violence.

However, feminism is not without its flaws. The movement has long failed many who should have seen themselves reflected. Most modern definitions of feminism should recognize and affirm the inclusion of trans and non-binary people in a vision of women’s equality. 

From: IWDA: International Women's Development Agency. (2018). What is feminism?

Intersectional feminism centres the voices of those experiencing overlapping, concurrent forms of oppression in order to understand the depths of the inequalities and the relationships among them in any given context. It is an attempt to illustrate the interplay between any kind of discrimination, whether it’s based on gender, race, age, class, socioeconomic status, physical or mental ability, gender or sexual identity, religion, or ethnicity.

From: IWDA: International Women's Development Agency. (2018). What does intersectional feminism actually mean?


Related Terms: sexism, misogyny, misogynoir, misandry, TERF, male gaze

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