Gender and Development
What is it about being a woman or a man that particularly heightens our risks of being affected by certain issues/problems?
Women comprise 50% of the country’s population. We live in a country which has some of the most gender-inequitable development indicators. Skewed child sex ratios, low female literacy and particularly low literacy rates among certain social groups, high levels of violence against women, high levels of maternal mortality rates particularly in rural areas of some parts of our country, invisibility of women’s work, lesser mobility, lower autonomy in decision-making, lower female participation in the labour force as well as lower political participation and excess burden of certain diseases are some of the gendered development challenges that demand that we view these problems using a framework that privileges gender and its relationship to other indicators of social stratification such as caste, class, religion, region and other marginalities.
This course will also explore whether these risks are distributed equally among all men and
all women or are certain groups of men and/or women at an increased disadvantage
and if so why would this be the case? Since an understanding of gender issues is a
critical component of any program in Development, this course offers 4th semester
students the chance to engage with gender issues substantively with a focus on
This course has two components: the first part aims at exploring ‘gender’ both as
lived experience and as a category of analysis. It will trace how gender relations
have constituted and been constituted by the wider set of social, economic and
political relations- historically as well as in contemporary times. The second part
will clearly illustrate the ways in which unequal gender relations affects and is
impacted by development policies, practices and agendas.