Semester Offering: August

In the recent decades of economic development and continued environmental degradation, gender and development studies have become a major concern. This course provides an overview of the history of gender and development, and discusses key concepts in gender and development and its relevance in development in the region. The course aims to familiarize students with social science thinking and writing, and gender perspectives.


By the end of the course, the students are able to
-       apply concepts and theories in ways that make gender and development issues more comprehensible,
-       identify and analyze the relevance of gender issues in contemporary development problems,
-       trace the historical development of gender and development thinking and identify relevant schools/authors.




I.         Understanding Gender
1.      What is gender?
2.      Why gender?
3.      What is patriarchy?
4.      What is feminism?
II.        Historical Development of Gender and Development Thinking
1.      Emergence of Women in Development/Gender and Development
2.      International agreements concerning women’s advancement
III.       Gender Division of Labour
1.      Concept of work
2.      Gender division of labour
IV.       Gender Differentiated Allocation of Resources
1.      Access to and control over resources
2.      Construction of family/household and the intra-household resource allocation
V.        Gender Equality and Power Relations     
1.      Equality and equity
2.      Power and gender relations
3.      Empowerment
VI.       Rights, Agency and Decision Making
1.      Decision making
2.      Capability and agency
3.      Inter-sectionality
4.      Rights and gender justice
VII.     Gender, Agriculture and Livelihood
1.      Gender and livelihood
2.      Gender issues in agriculture and fisheries




No designated textbook, but class notes and handouts will be provided.


1.     Agarwal, B. (2001) “Participatory exclusion, community forestry and gender: An analysis for South Asia and a Conceptual Framework”, World Development,Vol.29, No.10, 1623-1648.
2.     Connell, R.W. (2002) Gender, Polity.
3.     Cook, S. and Razavi, S. (2012) “Work and welfare: Revisiting the linkages from a gender perspective”, UNRISD Research Paper No. 2012-7
4.     Deere, C. D. and Doss, C.R. (2007) “The gender asset gap: What do we know and why does it matter?” in Deere and Ross (eds) Women and the distribution of wealth, Routledge.
6.     Geetha, V. (2002) Gender, Stree
7.     Jaquette, J.S. and G. Summerfield (eds.) (2006) Women and gender equity in development theory and practice: Institutions, resources and mobilization, Duke University press.
8.     Kothari, U. (ed.) (2005) A radical history of development studies, Zed Books.
9.     Rao, N. (2011) “Women’s access to land: An Asian Perspective”, Expert Group meeting: Enabling rural women’s economic empowerment: Institutions, opportunities and participation, Ghana.
10.   Woodward, K. (2004) Questioning identity: gender, class, ethnicity (second edition), Routledge.


1.      Gender and Development (Taylor and Francis)
2.      Gender, place and culture (Taylor and Francis)
3.      Gender, technology and development (SAGE)


Mixture of lecture (25 hours), classroom discussion and short presentations (10 hours). This needs to supplemented by self-study of students, which include critical reading of assigned papers, writing reviews of papers, reviewing papers of peers, group presentation preparation, preparing for resources to share


In order to introduce gender perspectives to students, the course will rely heavily on class discussion and readings. After lectures on core concepts, multiple methods that emphasize peer-to-peer learning and discussion-oriented methods are used such as:
(1)     Lecture and discussion on cases and issues
(2)     Critical review of academic papers
(3)     Group presentation
(4)     Group discussion
(5)     Peer review of papers using Moodle


      Article questions 10% (graded on: understanding of assigned readings),
      Group presentation 10% (graded on critical analysis of articles and presentation skills),
      Article reviews 25% (graded on: critical analysis, argument and coherence),
      Peer review comments 15% (graded on: critical analysis and discussion skills),
      Final review paper 10% (graded on: argument, critical content and writing skills),
      Final examination 20% (entire content- open book)
      Participation   10%

In the exams, “A” would be awarded if a student demonstrate excellent understanding on concepts of gender and development, and able to critically discuss articles on different topics in gender and development. A “B” would be awareded if a student shows an overall understanding of topic covered in class. A “C” would be awareded if a student meets below average expectation on both understanding and analysis. A “D” would be awarded if a student does not meet basic expectation in analyzing or understanding issues covered in the course.