The 72-page dictionary had contrasted previously common and “gender-appropriate” terms.
A dictionary for gender-equitable language in official use, which should have supplemented the “gender guide”, has caused such displeasure among staff representatives, the Chamber of Agriculture as well as the opposition that it is now being withdrawn. Among other things, the 72-page dictionary proposed replacing the terms “farmer” and “farmer’s wife” with “agricultural employee” or police officers with “police force.
Governor Peter Kaiser and the responsible provincial councilor, Sara Schaar (both SPÖ), commented on the issue in a press release issued by the provincial press service on Thursday. They said the gender guide provides guidance for the administration and aims to “create awareness through language and address it in a legally correct way” as in the case of a third gender. “The issue of gender-equitable language” is too important to discuss it polemically, Kaiser stressed. And conceded: The criticism had referred to the dictionary, “which in some passages presents itself as excessive.”
Kaiser and Schaar, however, also expressed the suspicion that the debate was “obviously influenced by the election campaign”. After all, they said, the dictionary was an internal reference work that was also based on other federal states. The demand is now for a uniform reference work throughout Austria, “also in order to create legal certainty.