IPS – Inter Press Service News Agency
July 15th, 2010

covergenderglossaryChairman, chairwoman, chairperson or chair? Housewife or homemaker? What is so controversial about contraception, the word ‘family’ or ‘sex worker’? Does being gender-sensitive in news mean hiding the genders and sexes of people who appear in them?

Whether you’re a journalist, writer, researcher or a news consumer, some gender-related words are bound to have gotten you wondering about whether, or how, to use them, or what they really mean.

The 91-page third edition of the IPS-Inter Press Service Gender and Development Glossary offers journalists and writers a guide for picking their way through the sometimes tricky terrain of gender, media and development, and the use of gender-related terms and language in media.

Its glossary section that takes users through the meaning and nuances of 141 key terms in gender and development, many of them updated from the gender and media discussions over the last decade and useful in covering these issues. The book also has a list of troublesome terms and alternatives that are useful in newsrooms and other publication venues, as well as in training programmes and news stylebooks.

The glossary is part of a series of publications produced by the IPS international news network under its ‘Communicating for Change‘ project, financed through the Dutch Ministry’s MDG-3 Fund: Investing in Equality. The other publications in this series are available for download at the IPS Communicating MDG3 Publications page.

The Gender and Development Glossary (3rd edition) was edited by Johanna Son, IPS Asia-Pacific director, and was coordinated by IPS Asia-Pacific. The third edition builds on the work of the 1997 and revised editions of the glossary.

Spanish and French versions of the glossary will also follow.

For information, please write IPS Asia-Pacific at or the IPS gender project at

Download the IPS Gender and Development Glossary (pdf).

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