Gender and Gender Mainstreaming
In German, using the term “gender” instead of “Geschlecht” allows for a more precise differentiation between the sociocultural concept of sexuality and the biological concept of “sex,” which is usually traditionally viewed as a binary construct.
By differentiating between gender and sex, it becomes clear that the associated concepts of male and female, as well as ideas of masculine and feminine, are mutable. These ideas include identifying a single biological sex as having specific abilities, responsibilities, and identities.
The term “gender mainstreaming” has also been taken up in the German language to describe the process of considering the different life situations of men and women in all decision-making processes. Equal opportunity policies can therefore not be separated off from day-to-day administration but instead affect all decisions made within an organization.
In legal terms, equal opportunity policies regarding gender mainstreaming are based on international law (at the EU level through the Treaty of Amsterdam and the Treaty of Lisbon) and German federal law (Article 3 paragraph 2 of the Basic Law for the Federal Republic Germany (Grundgesetz für die Bundesrepublik Deutschland, GG). Universität Hamburg has also obliged itself to the principle of gender mainstreaming in its equal opportunity guidelines.