In English

Language is a powerful vehicle of ideas and representations, and as such, can highlight, accentuate, or befog certain characteristics of the world. In the androcentric context of our societies, language – in its use and structure – biases our perception of the world, most often to the disadvantage of women, or for that matter, any person that does not identify as being a man. Different language strategies have therefore been suggested to promote more neutral forms of language, echoing the growing need for more equal treatment for all.

The present non-sexist and inclusive language guide, written by Dr. Pascal Gygax, is therefore intended for those who wish to adopt a more inclusive and non-sexist way of communicating. Although the present guide does not exhaustively cover all issues pertaining to non-sexist language, it covers four of the most important. Before presenting these four issues, we would like to stress a principle that may guide your search for non-sexist language: when possible, and when it is not relevant, please try to avoid any explicit mention of gender.

The present guide is based on existing non-sexist language guides in Switzerland, mainly framed for French and German, as well as existing ones for English (see bibliography for full references).