Toolbox for using gender-inclusive language in English

The Toolbox for using gender-inclusive language in English is a set of training materials, activities and resources for individuals or groups looking for ways to raise awareness of the subject, better understand how to apply the Guidelines and/or promote further discussions in their teams.

The materials, activities and resources included in the Toolbox can be used independently from one another. The goal is to encourage United Nations staff to actively use gender-inclusive language principles in English and share best practices with other colleagues in the workplace. Each tool provides step-by-step guidance that includes clear goals, relevant resources and suggestions on the next steps.

New resources and training programmes in the six languages will be included in the Toolbox as they become available.


This tool contains three activities, designed for all staff in the UN System. The goal is to show you how to apply the gender-inclusive guidelines to any communication (oral, written, formal, informal) to make it more gender-inclusive.

After completing these activities, you should have a deeper understanding of what “gender-inclusive communication” means and how you can make your communication more gender-inclusive.


You can complete these activities on your own or in a group. Compare your responses with the suggested responses at the end of the tool and/or with the responses of others in your group.


20 minutes-1h

This tool will be included once it becomes available


The goal of this workshop is to raise awareness on the topic and show participants how to apply the Guidelines to any communication (oral or written, formal or informal) to make it more gender-inclusive as a way to promote gender equality and eradicate gender bias. The Guidelines are available in the six official languages and have been tailored to each language.


The main objective of the session is to bring together managers and staff with supervisory responsibilities to raise awareness on how they communicate with their teams and to discuss how to apply and promote the Guidelines for gender-inclusive language. The Guidelines are available in the six official languages and have been tailored to each language.

Additional resources (on gender-inclusive language) published by various entities within the UN System

  • Checklists

-DGC Gender-checklist for content creation (2018) [EN]

  • Guidelines and indicators/principles

-ESCWA Gender-Sensitive Language Guidelines (2014) [EN]
-FAO-Dimitra Communicating gender for rural development (2011) [EN]
-ITU English Language Style Guide (2016) [EN]
-UNDP Principles of Gender-Sensitive Communication (2017) [EN]
-UNDP Guide pour la sensibilité au genre des communications nationales (2015) [FR]
-UNESCO Guidelines on Gender-neutral Language (1999) [EN, FR], [SP]
-UNESCO Gender-sensitive indicators for media (2017) [CH] [EN] [FR] [SP]
-UNHCR Recomendaciones para el uso de un lenguaje inclusivo de género (2018) [SP]
-UN Secretariat Editorial Directive ST/CS/SER.A/41 (1998) [EN] [FR]
-UN Women Gender-inclusive language guidelines (2017) [EN] [FR] [SP]

  • Glossaries

-IFAD Glossary on gender issues (2017) [AR, EN, FR, SP]
-UN Women Gender-equality glossary (2017) [EN] [FR] [SP]
-UN Women GenderTerm 2017) [EN, FR, SP]

  • Terminology Database

-UNTERM: The United Nations Terminology Database

  • Other documents

-Recommendations for inclusive workplaces for trans and gender nonconforming staff members, dependents, and
other stakeholders of the UN System, UN-GLOBE (2018) [EN]