I see many national and international agencies professing usage of gender-neutral language. But this kind of approach is half baked cake that is good for nothing. If there must be any real impact, we need to implement the gender neutrality in other spheres as well. So, I propose Gender neutral Laws Acts and Language (GNLAL) as explained below.
What is Gender neutrality in Laws, Actions and Language?
Gender-neutral language Laws, Actions and Language (GNLAL) is a generic term covering the use of non-sexist Laws, Actions and Language, inclusive Laws, Actions and Language or gender-fair Laws, Actions and Language. The purpose of this is to avoid word choices which may be interpreted as biased, discriminatory or demeaning by implying that one sex or social gender is the norm. Using gender-fair and inclusive Laws, Actions and Language also helps reduce gender stereotyping, promotes social change and contributes to achieving gender equality.
Regarding Gender neutrality one should bear in mind that actions speak louder than words and laws are the loudest. Hence gender neutrality should start with laws as proceed as below.
Laws – Most important of all is having gender neutral laws. Every mention of gender should be changed to gender neutral terminology. This will help eradicate the lack of support to one gender or excess support to one gender at the cost of the other.
Actions – The actions should exhibit gender neutral behavior. They shouldn’t allow any promotion of gender biased programs that benefit only one gender. Any quota for any gender should be immediately scrapped. Only competent people should be given the opportunity. This will ensure real equality.
Language – The ministry of women, women’s commissions should all be renamed as the Ministry of Human and Human’s Commission.
|Current Language||Proposed Gender-neutral language|
|Women Empowerment||Human Empowerment|
|National commission for Women||National commission for human|
|Women and child development ministry||Human and child ministry|
|Women rights||Human rights|
If these are implemented, we will achieve more impact than just renaming fishermen as a fisher.