Introduction - Sensitivity to someone’s gender is crucial, not only in life but also in learning. In developing countries where the opportunities for face-to-face education are often limited, open and distance learning (ODL) can provide basic education, skills training and lifelong learning. Appropriate ODL materials are especially important for women who live in countries where they are seen principally as homemakers and carers of children, and where their social and cultural norms make attending face-to-face classes difficult. ODL can provide such women, their partners and their children with the key to the world of learning. Producers of ODL materials must ensure that this key works for both sexes.