Since the vision of open learning communities builds on a concept of learning for generating positive change in society, solidarity, issues of equity and justice are all of concerns. The vision implies a continuous effort to analyse social processes from both male and female perspectives with a view to understanding existing gender relations and overcome inequities where they exist.
The gender perspective is about power relations and socialization. The socialization process concerns men and women, boys and girls; and it takes place at the individual, the family and the community level.
Open learning communities invite women and adolescent girls and boys to help develop meaningful learning activities, through gender analysis, so that they can break mainly female silence and participate in promoting positive change in and for their communities.
"Gender" refers to the social differences and relations between men and women, which are learned, vary widely among societies and cultures, and change over time. The concept is used in analysing the roles, responsibilities, constraints and needs of women and men in all contexts.
"Gender equality" means equality between men and women; the freedom to develop and make choices unhindered by gender stereotypes, roles and prejudices; that the different behaviours, aspirations and needs of women and men are considered, valued and favoured equally. It does not mean that women and men have to become the same, but that their rights, responsibilities and opportunities do not depend on whether they are born male or female.
"Gender analysis" studies the differences between women and men, including activities, conditions, decision-making, needs, and access to and control over resources and development benefits. It studies the linkages of these and other factors in the larger social, economic, political and environmental context. It entails, first and foremost, collecting sex-disaggregated and gender-sensitive data, and is the first step in planning to promote gender equality.
"Gender equity": According to the Concise Oxford Dictionary (7th ed., 1982) equity means fairness and it is also a recourse to principles of justice to correct or supplement law. It is in this sense that specific measures must be designed to eliminate inequalities between women and men, discrimination and to ensure equal opportunities. Gender equity leads to equality.