A sexual orientation whereby a male-identified person is aesthetically, romantically, sensually, and/or sexually attracted to other male-identified persons. It is important to note that not all men who engage in sexual activities with other men identify as gay. In some contexts the term gay is also used to refer to the LGBTQ community as a whole, or as a label for anyone who does not identify as heterosexual.


A condom is a material which can be used during oral, anal and/or vaginal sex to create a physical barrier that significantly decreases the probability of pregnancy and of contracting some (but not all) Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs). There are two main types of condoms, male (designed to cover the penis) and female (designed to cover the inside of the vagina). Condoms are usually made of latex or nitrile rubber, and come in a range of colors, flavors, textures and sizes. With ‘perfect’ use (using a new condom each time, placing and removing it correctly, using only water-based lubricants, and using them consistently) male condoms are successful at preventing pregnancy 98% of the time. With correct and consistent use female condoms are 95% effective at preventing pregnancy. Importantly, even with correct and consistent use condoms cannot completely remove the risk of pregnancy or contracting an STI.

Gender Binary

The belief that there are only two genders, male/female or man/woman, and that everyone falls, or should fall, into one of these categories.

Gender Confirming Surgery

Sometimes referred to as ‘Sex Reassignment Surgery’, this term encompasses a series of medical procedures which changes a person’s body so that it more accurately fits with their gender identity and/or gender expression (e.g. breast augmentation or removal, altering one’s genitals, altering ones face etc.).  It is important to note that not everyone who is transgender chooses to or are able to undergo one or all of these procedures.

Gender Discrimination

Discrimination based on one’s real or perceived gender. Gender discrimination can affect many different things, from the way a person is treated to the opportunities a person has.

Gender Equality

Gender equality is a situation whereby everyone, regardless of their real or perceived gender identity and gender expression, has equal conditions for realizing their full potential and their human rights, and are able to contribute to, and benefit from, economic, social, cultural, and political development. Everyone is free to develop their personal abilities and to make choices without the constraints of stereotypes and prejudices.

Gender Equity

Gender equity, also referred to sometimes as substantive equality, moves beyond legal or formal gender equality by arguing that in order to reach a situation of true gender equity, certain marginalized groups may require temporary special measures to compensate for historical and/or systemic discrimination.

Gender Expression

The way in which a person represents or expresses their gender through clothing, behavior, posture, mannerisms, speech patterns, activities and more. A person’s gender expression may or may not be consistent with socially prescribed gender roles, and may or may not reflect their gender identity.

Gender Identity

A person’s deeply felt and experienced sense of their own gender. Because gender identity is internal, it is not necessarily visible or obvious to everyone else, and may not align with one’s gender expression and/or body.

Gender Non-Conforming

A person whose gender expression is different from societal gender norms. For example, in a society which expects people to either dress ‘like a man’ or ‘like a woman’ someone who adopts both (or neither) male and female ways of behaving/dressing would be considered non-conforming.

Gender Normative

A person who by nature or by choice conforms to the gender based expectations of society. Also referred to as ‘Genderstraight’.

Gender Norms

Gender norms are the socially prescribed attributes and behaviors that are considered the generally accepted 'norm' (the normal situation) based on a person’s real or perceived gender identity and expression, and/or biological sex. Gender norms vary across communities and may change over time. Put simply, gender norms are a specific society’s ideas of   how people should look, think and act. Gender norms are often internalized at an early age, making them seem ‘normal’ and ‘natural’. Gender norms often greatly contribute to gender discrimination and inequality, and can be damaging for people who do not conform to them (and to those who do).

Gender Roles

This term is very much related to gender norms – gender roles are the socially prescribed behaviors that are considered normal based on a person’s real or perceived gender identity and expression, and/or biological sex. Like gender norms, gender roles vary between different groups and may change over time. For example, in some societies it is seen as a woman’s role to care for children or clean.

Get Up Speak Out (GUSO)

Get Up Speak Out (GUSO) is a joint program of six NGOs (Aids Fonds, CHOICE for Youth & Sexuality, dance4life, IPPF, Simavi, Rutgers WPF) and their partners in the global South, that aims to empower all young people, especially young women and girls, to realise their Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) in societies that are positive about young people’s sexuality. The GUSO program is working in seven countries in Africa and Asia: Ghana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Malawi, Pakistan and India. To reach this long-term objective, the GUSO program employs five different strategies: building sustainable alliances, ensuring meaningful youth participation (MYP), comprehensive sexuality education (CSE), youth-friendly services (YFS), and advocacy. The GUSO program is implemented in partnership with the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and runs from 2016-2020.

Group of 20

The Group of 20, or G20, is composed of the following members: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union. The G20 was formed in 1999 with the aim of reviewing and promoting high-level discussion of policy issues related to the promotion of international financial stability.

Group of 7/8

The Group of 7 (formerly G6, and G8) or G7 is an inter-governmental political forum composed of six nations (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, United Kingdom, United States) and the European Union. The Russian Federation was part of the G8 but was suspended in 2014 making it the G7. Combined, the members of G8 made up half of the global GDP. Occasionally this group includes five developing countries, Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa, known as the Outreach Five. These meetings are sometimes referred to as G8+5.

Group of 77

The Group of 77, or G77 at the United Nations (UN) is a loose coalition of developing nations, which was formed to promote their collective interests and enhance their negotiating capacity at the UN. Formed in 1964 the group has now expanded to include 134 member countries.