Postgraduate Course: Gender and Development (PGSP11225)
|School||School of Social and Political Science
||College||College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||It is now widely recognised that pervasive gender inequalities mean that development processes have differential effects on women and men. Early feminist critiques emphasised the `marginal` position of women in development and advocated their `integration`. Later critiques have argued that women`s `marginality` reflects the systematic gender bias in official statistics and development planning in general, and that women are already affected by and involved in development in locally variable and class specific ways. More recently, there have been attempts to `mainstream` gender in development, and to acknowledge the importance of involving men and queering gender and development initiatives - opening up, in the process, a set of debates on the normalising and/or depoliticising of gender. There has also been a recognition of the need for an intersectional approach. In this course, we will critically and contextually think, understand and articulate about the aforementioned issues and perspectives in gender and development
a. Academic Description
It is now widely recognised that pervasive gender inequalities mean that development processes have differential effects on women and men. Early feminist critiques emphasised the `marginal` position of women in development and advocated their `integration`. Later critiques have argued that women`s `marginality` reflects the systematic gender bias in official statistics and development planning in general, and that women are already affected by and involved in development in locally variable and class specific ways. More recently, there have been attempts to `mainstream` gender in development, and to acknowledge the importance of involving men and queering gender and development initiatives - opening up, in the process, a set of debates on the normalising and/or depoliticising of gender. There has also been a recognition of the need for an intersectional approach. In this course, we will critically and contextually think, understand and articulate about the aforementioned issues and perspectives in gender and development.
This course aims to deepen student understanding of the fruitfulness of studying diverse issues affecting the lives of poor people in relation to one another, rather than being limited by disciplinary boundaries. Students will gain knowledge of the main theoretical approaches used in gender analysis of development issues, awareness of the significance of locally-specific contexts, and understanding of the differential impacts of development interventions on women and men. The course thus aims to equip students with knowledge and practical skills vital for careers in development research and practice
b. Outline content
1: Conceptualising and theorizing gender and development
This session introduces the course by outlining Women in Development (WID), Women and Development (WAD) and Gender and Development (GAD) approaches.
2: Logics of empowerment: from radical origins to de-politicised practice?
Do 'empowerment' projects enable women to gain (greater) control over their lives, rather than being passive recipients of 'development'? The session traces empowerment from its feminist origins to its recent neo-liberal avatar.
3: Mainstreaming gender or streaming gender away?
Feminists have been concerned to ensure that gender and gender equality are on the policy agenda and brought centre stage in development practice. This session critically examines 'gender mainstreaming'.
4: Dangers of ethnocentrism - feminism, rights discourse and development practice
Who defines and makes judgements about gender issues? In the context of rights-based approaches in international development, can we legitimately universalise and generalise?
5: Coercion, consent, choice: Gender politics of population policies and reproductive & sexual health and rights
The links between gender, population and reproductive and sexual health are complex and crucial to the development enterprise. This session addresses this contested aspect of development.
6: Educate a woman, educate a nation? Gender, education and development
Girls' education is widely regarded as important in development circles and this session reflects critically on some of the distinctive approaches to the issue.
7: Victims, perpetrators or actors? Gender, violence and development
Feminists draw our attention to both gender-based violence and the gendered implications of political violence. This session explores some of the contentious and complex discursive shifts in understandings of violence and development.
8: Towards sustainable futures? Ecofeminism and development
This session asks what contribution ecofeminism can make to current debates in gender and development in relation to environmental and sustainability concerns.
9: Sweatshop warriors? Women and paid work in the global economy
Women's employment and independent income is widely considered essential for women's emancipation. This session explores the implications of new forms of women's employment in the Global South.
10: Reflecting on nearly 40 years of 'gender and development'
The final session wraps up the course and reflects on the broad shifts that have occurred in global understandings of key issues in gender and development in the last four decades.
c. Student Learning experience
The course is taught through lectures and small-group work in which students report on and discuss readings and films that they have been asked to consult in preparation for the class. The course is cross-discipline and students are encouraged to make connections between theoretical approaches and research (in relation both to gender and to development), and reflect on how these relate to development in practice, whether at the global or local level.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
Information for Visiting Students
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2022/23, Available to all students (SV1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||1500 word Resource Board Engagement (30%)
3000 word Essay (70%)
||Formal feedback on Resource Board engagement will be provided within 15 working days of submission, with additional informal feedback for individual students who request it. Students are expected to reflect on this feedback and learn from it prior to embarking on the long essay. The course organiser sets the long essay questions. An opportunity for 'feedforward' will be offered through an essay clinic during the seminar sessions in week 10.
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- show a working knowledge of the main theoretical approaches used in gender analysis of development issues and their links to wider social and political change
- show an awareness of the interplay between regional cultures, social change and development intervention in terms of differential impact on women and men
- show competence in assessing gender issues in international development research and practice from a sociological perspective
- show an understanding of the value of comparative analysis
- utilise acquired skills in analysis, planning and reporting on current development issues
|Development Studies is a vast field and material on Gender and Development covers issues that are often carved into separate fields in mainstream Development Studies. The week-wise essential and additional readings made available on Learn provide only a taster on the topics that we address. In researching for your coursework, you may wish to explore other sources.|
Below is a short list of texts that you are likely to find useful throughout the course:
Coles, Anne, Leslie Gray and Janet Momsen (eds.) (2015) The Routledge Handbook of Gender and Development, Oxon: Routledge.
Cornwall, Andrea, Elizabeth Harrison and Ann Whitehead (eds.) (2007) Feminisms in Development, London and New York: Zed Books.
Harcourt, Wendy (eds.) (2016) The Palgrave Handbook on Gender and Development, Basingtoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Momsen, Janet (2017) Gender and Development, Oxon: Routledge.
You could browse in the general development periodicals, including:
Development: Journal of the Society for International Development; Development and Change; Gender & Development; Institute of Development Studies IDS Bulletin;
Journal of Development Studies; Journal of Peasant Studies; Population and Development Review; World Development
The main feminist journals sometimes carry articles on gender and development, e.g. Feminist Review; Feminist Studies; Signs; Women`s Studies International Forum
If you have particular regional interests, check out journals with the relevant regional focus, e.g. Review of African Political Economy; Contributions to Indian Sociology
There are also numerous important and useful websites that can give you leads on how development organisations and so forth address gender issues. For instance:
United Nations http://www.un.org
UN Women http://www.unwomen.org/en
UN Research Institute for Social Development http://www.unrisd.org (numerous reports on gender issues)
World Bank http://worldbank.org
BRIDGE (database on Gender and Development) http://www.bridge.ids.ac.uk
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
|Course organiser||Dr Radhika Govinda
Tel: (0131 6)50 3916
|Course secretary||Mr Adam Petras