Gender and Development

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Course TypeCourse CodeNo. Of Credits
Foundation ElectiveNA4

Course Coordinator and Team: Dr. Nandini Nayak

Email of course coordinator:

Pre-requisites: Completion of Semester 1 and 2 coursework

Aim: This course aims to introduce students to theories, concepts, debates, policy and practice in the field of ‘gender and development’. This course discusses the theoretical underpinnings of ‘institutional analysis’ as a framework to engage with the field of gender and development. The course then moves on to analyse how the gender dynamics of power and inequality play out in the social institutions of households, markets and states and within the arena of ‘civil society’. This is correlated with discussions on the role of feminist research, advocacy and activism in shaping development policy and practice.

Key Learning Outcomes: By the end of the course, students should be able to :

... explore the evolution of the concept of gender in development theory

... understand the institutional dynamics of power in relation to gender inequality

... critically assess development policy and practice

... analyze how feminist advocacy and activism seeks to influence and transform development practice

Brief description of key modules:

Module 1: Conceptual issues in Gender and Development: The concept of ‘gender’ in mainstream development discourse, including debates related to the terms ‘Women in Development’ and ‘Gender and Development’.

Module 2.1: Introduction to an institutional framework for studying ‘Gender and Development’ : This module introduces a framework of analysis, of looking at ‘social institutions’ – viz. the household, the market, the state and civil society - from a ‘gender lens’.

Module 2.2: The household as a gendered institution

Module 2.3: Gender and labour markets

Module2.4: Gender, States and Governance

Module 2.5: Gender, Social Movements and Civil Society

Assessment Details with weights:

  • One ‘Response Note’, written in class – 40% weightage;
  • One presentation and submission – 20% weightage;
  • and one Term Paper, 40% weightage.

Reading List: (See below for indicative readings, in alphabetical order; a detailed reading list will be provided in class):

  • Agarwal, B., 1997, “Bargaining” and Gender Relations: Within and Beyond the Household, Feminist Economics, Vol.3, No.1:51.
  • Alvarez, S .E., 2009, ‘Beyond NGO-ization? Reflections from Latin America’, Development, Vol. 52: 175-194.
  • Chen, M., et. al., 2006, Informality, Gender and Poverty: A Global Picture, Economic and Political Weekly, 41(21): 2131-2139.
  • Connell, R.W., 1990, ‘The State, Gender and Sexual Politics: Theory and Appraisal’, Theory and Society, Vol. 19 (5): 507-544.
  • Kabeer, N., 1994, Reversed Realities: Gender Hierarchies in Development Thought, London: Verso.
  • Kumar, R., 1997, The History of Doing. New Delhi: Zubaan.
  • Molyneux, M., 1998, ‘Analysing women’s movements’ in C Jackson, R Pearson (eds), Feminist Visions of Development, London: Routledge.
  • NCEUS, 2007, Report on Condition of Work and Promotion of Livelihoods in the Unorganised Sector, GoI. – Relevant sections, to be indicated in class.
  • Ray, R. & Korteweg, A. C., 1999, Women’s Movements in the Third World: Identity, Mobilisation and Autonomy, Annual Review of Sociology, Vol. 25: 47-71.
  • Sen, Amartya, 1991, 'Gender and Cooperative Conflicts' in I. Tinker (ed) Persistent inequalities. Women and world development Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Sen, I. 1990. A Space Within The Struggle. New Delhi: Kali for Women.