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'Mankind' for 'humanity': EU guidelines urge MEPs to use more gender-neutral words

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'Mankind' for 'humanity': EU guidelines urge MEPs to use more gender-neutral words
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The European Parliament has released new guidelines aimed at ensuring more gender-neutral language is used by the organisation.

Words such as "mankind” will be replaced (with humanity), “manpower" (with staff), and man-made with “synthetic” or “artificial”.

In 2008, the European Parliament adopted multilingual guidelines on gender-neutral language and the new set showcases a glossary of words and titles that move away from identifying someone's gender or marital status.

“The European Parliament remains as committed as ever to the use of gender-neutral language in its written and spoken communications and I now invite the relevant services to raise awareness of the updated guidelines and the importance of their use in parliamentary publications and communications,” said Dimitrios Papadimoulis the European Parliament’s Vice-President and Chair of the High-Level Group on Gender Equality and Diversity.

The report states that a multilingual environment, such as the European Parliament, should ensure gender neutrality and gender-inclusive language. Gender-neutral language is more than a matter of political correctness but "powerfully reflects and influences attitudes, behaviour and perceptions," the guidelines read.

In languages including German, Swedish and English, words like “chairman” will be replaced with "chairperson", “spokesman” with "spokesperson", and “actor” used in all instances instead of "actress".

French speakers should “Madame” in all cases instead of “Mademoiselle.” France officially made this change in 2010, making "Madame" the equivalent of “Monsieur”, which doesn’t give away a person’s marital status.