Call: 07507613136 | Email:

Understanding the concept of gender

Share this Post:
Advocacy, Feminist Movement In Kurdistan, Media & Production, Updates,

-Shanaz Herani

Discussing an issue or a new concept and its entry into any society must be constantly discussed seriously, at the same time positioned and analyzed, so that society has a correct understanding of it, in order to fully achieve its goal in implementation and content. One of these concepts and terms is gender.
First, the concept should be analyzed carefully and scientifically to be adapted to the social values, customs and traditions of society, because there is still a misunderstanding of the concept and not introduced in such a way that individuals are familiar and understand its meaning.
Since the introduction of the word gender as a concept in the social sciences, the door has been opened to different interpretations and discriminations between men and women related to social identity. People are born and live as female or male, or as two main sexes, but it is society and culture that determines the roles (femininity, masculinity) for both characters according to its understanding of each of these two concepts.
Therefore, when society determines roles according to social mentality, customs, culture and traditions, it shapes women with many social rules and different forms. In order not to be endangered, women must adhere to these social norms and structures and ultimately cannot deviate from the boundaries drawn for them. Thus, femininity is determined by the criteria that depend on these points. That is, as Simon de Beauvoir says, “No female is born a woman, but becomes a woman.”
The femininity that Simon describes is the product of masculine social and cultural structures, not femininity as an identity of women themselves, stemming from their own views and opinions, and embodied in the form, content and values of men.
Identity is a multidimensional historical process and many factors play a role in the formation of identity. Women have been shaped by their gender and biological characteristics at different stages of history. Historical factors (religious, social, economic, cultural) all contribute to the shaping of a lower identity by men for women. Therefore, we can say that gender is a concept that encompasses all research that examines the situation of women.
The concept of gender and the theories that have been developed on it aim to refute the views that gender is the criterion for role assignment, rather than social status, especially those roles created by social action and linked to gender.
The concept and thesis of gender believes that the injustice and inequality in the situation of women is not related to biological characteristics, but is the result of the norms, rules and cultural structures of society that have caused this inequality. Thus, we can define the concept of gender as ensuring rights, opportunities and roles for women and their participation in all spheres of life without gender or physical discrimination.
When we talk about gender equality, we should not argue that men and women are exactly the same and there is no difference in their behavior, abilities and choices, because people must be distinguished by the criteria of expertise and ability, whether Whether they are women or men.
In gender equality, women are seen as equal beings in terms of value and status. Here, the concept of gender rejects biological excuses and believes that there are no biological or social differences or barriers. There are many examples of this: In Kurdistan, we have a living and courageous example in West Kurdistan of women fighters who were able to stand against the most brutal dark and extremist forces, take up arms and go to the battlefield, both physically and mentally And their thinking, which made the whole world say that biological excuses can never prevent human equality.
The importance of gender equality is that it carries the message of justice, equality and humanization of all spheres, so that women with their own thoughts and abilities, have a common discourse and work on expanding women’s rules, rights and discourse.
In fact, patriarchal social and cultural traditions have discriminated against women. If we talk about Kurdish society, it is clear that the majority of Kurdish women have not developed a feminine discourse and thought, they only know and follow male opinions and worldviews in their lives. Therefore, we need awareness to try to change the mentality and culture that portrays women as sinful and forbidden and to get out of the framework of traditional mentality, because awareness creates freedom. What is needed to address gender discrimination is genuine female consciousness. To have projects to promote women’s awareness and thought. Although it is not easy for men to give up their supreme power and sovereignty in closed societies, serious work can reduce and eliminate tribal tensions, although the effects are not immediate.
In the second part of her book Gender and Power, Gender and the Individual and Gender Policies, female author Ravin Connelly discusses the history of the development and research on gender. It starts from the Middle Ages to contemporary theories. “Scientific theory and society
Gender theories are new theories, originally originating in the West. Therefore, we must mention the history that led to the production and development of this theory. Because it has now become an important topic and has been debated among feminist groups recently. Most of the time, these discussions have tried to translate that meaning, define it and put it into practice.”
The mid-20th century is considered the beginning of the separation of gender and biological sex. From there it was interpreted in its social sense for biological race. This discourse became more apparent after the rise of the second wave of the feminist movement. Feminists then raised the slogan of gender equality. The idea of social development evolved. The process in which individuals determined their characteristics (femininity, masculinity) according to their duties, rights, and motivations for their behavior. At the time, feminists strongly criticized classical theories, concepts, and assumptions of the world. As feminist theory developed, they not only focused on gender inequality and discrimination, but also raised an important question: how does gender identity shape decision-making agendas and influence national policies on all important and sensitive issues?

Emma Organization for Human Development was founded in 2013 by three female activists with a vision to advance the role of women in society, promote gender equality and empower women in Kurdistan. “Emma” is a Kurdish term meaning (WE) and is the concept by which this organization functions as a unit working together as "One Team" from different cultural backgrounds and religious beliefs to achieve goals and rebuild lives.

Related Posts: