It’s Time Network Glossary of Terms

As we work collaboratively toward gender equality, it’s important that we understand the concepts that inform what’s happening in the space. To facilitate this understanding, we’ve developed an ever-expanding list of terms for our community:

Civil rights

The rights of citizens to political and social freedom and equality.

Collaborative action

Taking action by building coalitions of organizations and individuals that work together to develop solutions to various issues in order to achieve more than a single organization can alone.

Collective impact

The commitment of a group of actors from different sectors to a common agenda for solving a specific complex social problem, using a structured form of collaboration. It is an innovative and structured approach to making collaboration work across government, business, philanthropy, non-profit organisations and citizens to achieve significant and lasting social change.


A self-organized network of people with common agenda, cause, or interest, who collaborate by sharing ideas, information, and other resources.

Environmental footprint

The impact of human activities measured in terms of the area of biologically productive land and water required to produce the goods consumed and to assimilate the wastes generated.

Equal opportunity

A state in which people have the same opportunities in life as other people, without being treated in an unfair way because of their race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, or age.

Equal Rights Amendment (ERA)

A proposed amendment to the United States Constitution designed to guarantee equal rights for women. Introduced to Congress for the first time in 1923, it has not yet been ratified, and organizations continue to work for the adoption of the ERA today.


Actions, treatment of others, or a general condition characterized by justice, fairness, and impartiality.

Fair economies

Economies that care for the Earth and its people, and that share prosperity and resources.

Gender binary

The classification of sex and gender into two distinct, opposite and disconnected forms of masculine and feminine.

Gender continuum

A multidimensional extension of the spectrum that includes additional gender identities outside of the gender spectrum.

Gender equality

Gender equality is achieved when women and men enjoy the same rights and opportunities across all sectors of society, including economic participation and decision-making, and when the different behaviors, aspirations and needs of women and men are equally valued and favored.

Gender expansive

Conveys a wider, more flexible range of gender identity and/or expression than typically associated with the binary gender system.

Gender identity

One's innermost concept of self as male, female, a blend of both or neither – how individuals perceive themselves and what they call themselves. One's gender identity can be the same or different from their sex assigned at birth.

Gender inequality

Unequal treatment or perceptions of individuals based on their gender, arising from differences in socially constructed gender roles.

Gender parity

Achieving equal opportunities and equal representation across sectors for all genders

Gender partnership

Cooperation between people of across the gender spectrum working together toward common goals.

Gender role

A set of societal norms that dictate what types of behaviors are generally considered acceptable, appropriate, or desirable for a person based on their actual or perceived sex.

Gender spectrum

The recognition that biological gender occurs across a continuum of possibilities, beyond the distinct gender binary.

Glass ceiling

An unofficially acknowledged barrier to advancement in a profession, especially affecting women and members of minorities.

Human rights

Rights that are inherent to all human beings, despite nationality, place of residence, sex, ethnicity, race, religion, language, or any other status.


The mutual reliance between two or more groups; the concept that we are dependent upon one another, and, as a result, the actions of any one individual affects the whole.

Intersectional analysis

The exploration of the ways race, class, sexual orientation and gender identity may impact an individual or group's treatment in society.


The interconnected nature of social categorizations such as race, class, and gender as they apply to a given individual or group, regarded as creating overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage.


A system of society or government in which men hold power and women are largely excluded from it.


A state in which the demands placed on the environment can be met without reducing its capacity to allow all people to live well, now and in the future.