Launch of a Xhosa booklet with gender and sexuality terminologies


The Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) on Tuesday launched the isiXhosa Gender Terminology Booklet with the latest gender and sexuality terminologies translated into the Xhosa language.

Terms translated into gender

The isiXhosa booklet is a comprehensive list containing hundreds of translated terms related to the genre. It is part of a national CGE program to include English gender terminologies in all 11 official languages.

“The terminologies contained in the booklet are the result of a consultation process with isiXhosa language experts, women’s rights groups and all relevant stakeholders in the women’s rights sector. This is because as CGE, we are not language experts,” said CGE’s acting head of public education and information, Rabbu Raletsemoduring the launch in Bisho, Eastern Cape.

Through this project, the commission hopes to improve gender equality by “indigenizing gender-sensitive terminology in all 11 official South African languages”.

He has already published Sesotho and pamphlets in Afrikaans, and is currently working on the remaining languages. The brochures will be deployed in the nine provinces.

Need for terms of gender and sexuality in Indigenous languages

The Commission for Gender Equality hopes the brochures will make it easy for people to start conversations about all sexuality groups, using the correct terminologies in their native language.

Terms such as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, sexual harassment, gender equality, abortion, gender parity, gender mainstreaming and gender stereotyping, as well as sexual orientation are only commonly known in English vocabulary.

“This language development project is consistent with our mandate to educate, inform and empower the public with gender terminologies that uphold human dignity and protect human rights,” added Raletsemo.

The brochure will be available on the commission’s website.

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