Staff at Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra have been requested to avoid use of certain words related to gender. ANU's Gender Institute issued list of replacement terms for everyday words like 'mother' and 'father'. switch in vocabulary is part of initiative to encourage more gender-neutral language. Staff are being asked to use term 'gestational parent' instead of 'mother,' and 'non-birthing parent' in place of 'father'. institute's gender handbook claims words 'mother' and 'father' exclude non-binary people. These are people who identify as being neither male nor female. Non-binary people feel unrepresented in society because of words that refer to males and females.
gender handbook explains suggested nomenclature guidelines. It says: "While many students will identify as 'mothers' or 'fathers,' using these terms alone to describe parenthood excludes those who do not identify with gender-binaries." It added: "This non-gendered language is particularly important in...discussions of childbirth and parenthood." ANU spokesperson said handbook was just guide. It said: "This document is not official ANU policy....It is guide developed by expert researchers to assist anyone committed to enhancing inclusiveness and diversity." Last week, UK university asked its staff to substitute word 'chestfeeding' for 'breastfeeding'.