“Gender” implies a socio-cultural development of male and female roles as well as relations between men and women.
While “sex” relates to biological features, whether one is born a man or a woman, gender describes itself as a set of the social and cultural values instilled. Gender is therefore the result of the inter-relation between the powers in a society and its design; this is therefore dynamic and differs depending on the time, the environment, the circumstances as well as diverse cultures.
Equality of rights, responsibilities and chances for women and men, girls and boys does not imply that women and men must become identical; it rather means that their rights, responsibilities and opportunities must not be determined based on sex but their effective roles. Equality between sex means that both men and women’s interests, needs and priorities are to be taken into consideration.
The incorporation of the concern for sex equality is defined in terms of an assessment of women’s and men’s direct impacts on any action envisaged, notably in legislation, policies or programmes, in all sectors at every level.
This is a strategy which aims to incorporate women’s concerns and experiences as well as men’s into the development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies and programmes in every area – political, economic, social and cultural – so that women and men receive equal benefits and inequality ends. The final goal is to attain sex equality.
Gender issue in MONUC
MONUC has set the example by integrating the gender dimension into its programmes and activities. Senior female officers are more and more participating in the decision making process and effective management. They are thus an illustration of the United Nations’ commitment towards women’s promotion to senior management positions.