Institute for Research in Social Communication of the Slovak Academy of Sciences hosted an online workshop on gender-sensitive language
As part of the ATHENA gender training programme for the internal institutional staff, the Institute for Research in Social Communication of the Slovak Academy of Sciences (SAS) hosted an online workshop on gender-sensitive language. The goal of the training was to introduce feminist perspectives on language, the Slovak language, and its possibilities for using inclusive language, demonstrate examples and dilemmas and examine the use of the language in the SAS’s Gender Equality Plan.
The training looked at generic masculinism, which is common in Slovak, as well as some early attempts to increase the visibility of women in the language. However, it was emphasized that this could result in several issues, including text lengthening, readability issues, and even political gender backlash. Several conclusions were reached after considering the specific challenges of the Slovak language:
- The role of language in forming attitudes should be understood.
- The text as a whole should be evaluated.
- It is impossible to provide universal recommendations, but the text should convey a message of gender inclusivity. Numerous strategies can be used creatively while keeping the readability and style of the texts in mind.
One of the training’s follow-ups will be the creation of a manual based on recommendations and examples of how SAS institutions can use gender-inclusive language.
The workshop was open to invited SAS participants, language and literature researchers, representatives from the Gender Equality Plan Implementation (GEPI) Committee, and other committees and SAS Presidency members. Jana Cviková, GEPI Committee member and from the Institute of World Literature SAS & NGO Aspekt, Lucia Molnár Satinská, SAS researcher and from Ľ. Štúr Institute of Linguistics SAS and Róbert Karul, GEPI Committee member and from the Institute of Philosophy, led the training and provided a safe space for fruitful discussions!