Practical tools (checklists and summary tables)

To ensure that you've used ‘gender-savvy’ language in your writing, try asking yourself the following questions:

  • Do you recognise stereotypes and avoid repeating them through your language?

  • Do you actively seek ways of being inclusive to both women and men?

  • Does your language reflect the idea that women, men and those of a non-binary gender are independent persons of equal value, dignity, integrity and respect?

  • When using gender-neutral language, have you considered whether there might be hidden gender elements to the discussion that mean you should be using gender-sensitive language instead?
    Tip! Policymakers and law-makers should almost always try to use gender-sensitive language, rather than gender-neutral language.

  • Do you avoid terms that may be patronising or belittling to one gender?

  • Would the adjectives that you use to describe one gender be equally applicable to another gender?

  • Did you check your document for gender-biased language?

  • Have you avoided describing women solely in relation to men?

  • Do you avoid using ‘man’ or ‘he’ to describe the experiences of everyone?

  • When describing professional occupations, have you used gender-neutral terms, such as chair, spokesperson and headteacher?

If you answered yes to all of the above, the chances are your language is free of gender bias.