Table : Definitions

The biological attributes that separate males, females and intersex people. Sex is assigned at birth and may differ from a person’s gender identity1


Gender refers to the socially constructed roles, behaviours, activities, attributes and opportunities that any society considers appropriate for men and women, boys and girls and people with non-binary identities. 1, 2, 3

Gender is often relational, shaping how men/boys, women/girls and people with non-binary identities interact with each other and the world around them. As a social construct, gender varies from society to society and can change over time, as individuals construct differing roles and identities that are shaped by broader political, social, and economic circumstances.4

Gender influences people’s experience of and access to health care.5

Gender identity

Gender identity refers to a person’s deeply felt, internal and individual experience of gender, which may or may not correspond to the person’s assigned sex at birth.4


Intersectionality is an analytical lens that examines how different social variables (such as gender, class, race, education, ethnicity, age, geographic location, religion, migration status, ability, disability, sexuality, etc.) interact to create different experiences of privilege, vulnerability and/or marginalization within structures of power.6

Intersectionality and its application in health research is an emerging research paradigm, that seeks to “move beyond single or typically favoured categories of analysis (e.g. sex, gender and class) to consider simultaneous interactions between different aspects of social identity, as well as the impact of systems and processes of oppression and domination.” It embraces the complexities that are essential to understanding social inequities, which in turn are manifested in health inequities.7

Intersectionality is not additive; consider how human and social characteristics such as age, gender, sex, ability, disability, ethnicity, sexuality, etc. interact to shape individual experience at a given point or time.1

Gender analysis

The process of analysing how gender power relations affect the lives of women, men and people with non-binary identities, how differences are created in their needs and experiences, and how policies, services and programmes, can help to address these differences.1

Intersectional gender analysis

The process of analysing how gender power relations intersect with other social stratifiers to affect people’s lives, create differences in needs and experiences, and how policies, services and programmes can help address these differences.1

While intersectional gender analysis aims to move from one dominant social category of analysis and resist essentializing, it does not follow a pure intersectional approach. In this type of analysis, gender is used as an entry point for analytical purposes with an intersectional lens.