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A project to help cities replace gender exclusive language with gender inclusive language.
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Equity Language

Equity is a priority in the City of Los Angeles and we want to improve the language used in websites to be more inclusive (of all communities) while also educating the public about exclusionary language.


Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

This section is thanks to United Nations Population Fund

What is gender?

The term gender refers to the economic, social and cultural attributes and opportunities associated with being male, female, transgender, etc. Many societies have different expectations about how people of different genders should dress, behave, work, love, marry, raise families, and participate in the society and its culture. Re

How is gender different from sex?

Gender differs from sex in that gender is social and cultural in nature, and sex is biological. Gender attributes and characteristics, encompassing, inter alia, the roles that people of different genders play, and the expectations placed upon the people, vary widely among societies and change over time. But the fact that gender attributes are socially constructed means that they are also amenable to change in ways that can make a society more just and equitable.

What is gender equity?

Gender equity is the process of being fair to all people, regardless of gender, such as male, female, transgender, agender, etc. Gender equity is linked to sustainable development and is vital to the realization of human rights for all. The overall objective of gender equity is a society in which all people enjoy the same opportunities, rights, and obligations, in all spheres of life, regardless of gender.



Gender equality - Wikipedia

Gender-neutral language - Wikipedia

Non-binary gender - Wikipedia

United Nations

Gender equality - United Nations

Frequently asked questions about gender equality - United Nations

Gender-inclusive language - United Nations


Understanding Gender - Gender Spectrum

What Does It Mean to Be Non-Binary or Enby? - Verywell Mind

Gender equity and gender equality

Gender Equity Vs. Gender Equality: What’s the Distinction? - Pipline Equity)

Why We Need Gender Equity Now - Forbes

Gender-neutral language and gender-inclusive language

How to Use Gender-Neutral Words - Teen Vogue

Gender-Inclusive Guidelines -

Gender Neutral Pronouns & Inclusive Language -

Gender-neutral language - European Parliament

Gender-inclusive language list

This list is organic, adaptable to local context, social context, priorities, cultural sensitivities, etc.

We welcome constructive feedback.

We welcome contributions in other languages.


Gendered pronounGender-inclusive pronoun
he, shethey
him, herthem
his, herstheirs


Gendered nounGender-inclusive noun
mother, fatherparent
daughter, sonchild
sister, brothersibling
niece, nephewnibling
wife, husbandspouse
girlfriend, boyfriendpartner, significant other

Nouns & verbs

Gendered languageGender-inclusive language
anchormannews anchor, anchor, newscaster
businessmanbusiness executive, manager
cavemancave dweller
chairmanchair, chairperson, coordinator, head
congressmanlegislator, congressional representative
doormansecurity guard
freshmanfirst-year student
mailmanmail carrier, letter carrier, postal worker
man (n.)person, individual
man (v.)to guard, to staff, to mind [the store]
mankindpeople, human beings, humanity
man-madesynthetic, artificial, hand-made, machine-made
manholesutility holes, sewer holes
manpowerworkers, workforce, staffing
middlemanintermediary, go-between
newsmanreporter, correspondent
policemanpolice officer
postmanmail carrier, letter carrier, postal worker
steward, stewardessflight attendant
the common manthe average person
Sir (in “Dear Sir,” etc.)Dear Editor, Dear Members of the Search Committee, To Whom it May Concern
Mr., Ms.Mx.

Pronoun grammar

Pronouns are words that identify someone. Pronoun grammar is how we talk about pronounce usage and structure.

  • Subject pronoun. Example: “she” as in “she likes Alice”. (Wikipedia)

  • Object pronoun. Example: “her” as in “Alice likes her”. (Wikipedia)

  • Dependent possessive pronoun. Example: “her” as in “her ideas are good”. (Wikipedia)

  • Independent possessive pronoun. Example: “hers” as in “the ideas are hers”. (Wikipedia)

  • Reflexive pronoun. Example: “herself” as in “she likes herself”. (Wikipedia)

  • Intensive pronoun. Example: “herself” as in “she does it herself”. (Wikipedia)

  • Disjunctive pronoun. Example: “her” as in “it is her”. (Wikipedia)


We are creating a web tool that searches websites for gender-exclusive words and suggests gender-inclusive words. For example, you can search for the gender-exclusive word "fireman", and the tool will find it, and suggest the gender-inclusive word "firefighter".

How to contribute

We welcome help and constructive criticism. Here are some ways to parcipated.

  • Join the team at Hack For LA. We meet on Tuesday evenings downtown, and we keep in touch during the week via remote tools like Slack and Zoom.

  • Share your opinion about what words you want to search. We are currently experimenting with words on this list, and we anticipate that many people may want to create their own lists of words.


Here are gender inclusive language words I’ve used with other projects:

Here’s a way to search one site for a bunch of words:

Contact info

Email Joel Parker Henderson (

If you are a Hack For LA member, then our Slack channel is #equity-language


For now, the project licensing is GPL-2.0-only

If you have licensing needs, please contact us and let us know what you prefer.

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