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Gender-neutral language

All members of the University of Graz are legally obliged to use gender-neutral language (according to §§ 12, 20 Gleichstellungsplan 2017, §§ 11, 16 Frauenförderungsplan 2017). Furthermore, the obligation to use gender-neutral language is stipulated in § 10a of the Equal Treatment Act (B-GlBG). In addition, persons who have been awarded an academic degree by a recognized domestic or foreign post-secondary educational institution are entitled to use this degree in the form specified in the award certificate, including abbreviated form, whereby the academic degree may be used with a gender-neutral suffix.

Even though the English language appears to be very gender-neutral, there are some subtleties that can be taken into account in order to be inclusive of all individuals: These include avoiding the generic masculine and using discriminatory language (for example the generic use of 'man' or 'he/his'). Furthermore, gender-neutral designation of titles or professions is to be preferred. Since stereotypes can be reinforced by language, inclusive language is even more important at this point to ensure gender inclusiveness.[1]

For detailed information, please have a look at the following sources:

For further information on gender-neutral language, please refer to our German website.

[1] cf. European Parliament: Gender-neutral language in the European Parliament (2018); United Nations: Guidelines for gender-inclusive language

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