Have you ever heard about “Inclusive Language”? This has been the topic discussed by the Spanish / Catalan team in the Mainstreaming Gender Issue. In both Catalan and Spanish languages tend to use the masculine form to express ourselves. That is the reason why we have chosen this Gender Equality issue. Because we believe that it is important to eliminate and neutralize references to gender in terms that describe people.
Following, we are going to explain how we did our workshop: First of all, we started with the definition of the topic, to point out the aspects to consider to follow the workshop.
Activity 1 –VOCABULARY
Do you realize that we always talk about “fireman”, “chairman” or “landlord”? Haven’t you realize that it is only that only includes the masculine form? We tried to find a more inclusive word to assign the same meaning. Words as “firefighter”, “chairperson” or “owner” have the same meaning and include masculine and feminine form.
|USED||PREFERED TO USE|
|John and Mary both have full-time jobs, he helps her wife with the housework||John and Mary both have full-time jobs, they share the housework.|
Activity 2 – GRAMMAR
Apart from the vocabulary, also we should take into account about the grammar. The way we construct the sentences could also be sexist, for example:
“A good manager knows his staff”.
Can we change the way we write it down to make it inclusive? We have two options:
1. A good manager knows his / her staff
2. Good managers know their staff
Activity 3 – HOW IS IT IN MY COUNTRY??
Participants were given some time to think about this topic in their own countries so they were then split into four groups: Georgia, Armenia, Belarus, Romania, Spain / Catalonia and Lithuania.
Each person had to share his or her personal thoughts with the rest of the country group in order to decide their position to explain it later to the rest of the group.
We encourage you to start using inclusive language when you speak and write. It’s not so difficult! Why don’t you try it?