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Aims and Objectives

This course aims to

  •  Introduce you to the major themes in the area of Gender and Development.
  •  Provide you with an overview of the literature and major debates in this field.
  •  Develop critical thinking on Gender and Development issues.
  •  Encourage you to sift through relevant materials, make an argument, and defend it by presenting your views in seminars and written work.

The learning objectives of this module are the following:

  • You should be familiar with the major theoretical debates and literature relevant to gender and development discourse,
  • have a clear understanding of how the political, social and economic strands of development processes knit together to affect the lives of women in Third World countries, and
  • be able to understand, explain and discuss the impact of international political and economic systems on gender relations in the South through your written and seminar work.

Two major themes will bind the module together – the concept of ‘otherness’ and difference, and the gendered analysis of development. These themes will be developed through looking at women and men in their various roles in society – economic, social, and political. The course will be organised along five different streams: 1) Theorising Development 2) Theorising Governance 3) Theorising Political Economy 4) Gendered Security and 5) Resisting Inequalities.

This module is more wide-ranging than some other gender and development modules that you might come across. The emphasis in this module is not simply on the traditional concerns of development economists – work, poverty, health, demography – and gender issues in the processes of economic development. Rather, the module situates gender relations in the wider socioeconomic and political context of development. We will, for example, examine gender roles in work, but also how religion has framed the work choices that men and women are able to make. Similarly, we will analyse the impact of structural adjustment programmes on women’s lives, and also see where they have impacted on agenda setting through mobilisation of women’s movements in different countries.