MA International Education

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Gender & Development

Course unit fact file
Unit code MGDI70802
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by Global Development Institute
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


The aim of this module is to encourage critical examinations of the theoretical underpinnings of the gender and development subject domain, including its historical development, as well as practical policy management solutions/strategies at the organization, state and international levels. The relevance and significance of gender as a category of social and organizational analysis has been reaffirmed by The World Bank Report 2012 which focused on gender and specifically acknowledged that eradicating gender inequalities is a global concern for state governments, MNCs and organizations, in order to improve human wellbeing, good governance, economic growth and organization competiveness. The World Bank report also illustrated that ‘mainstreaming’ gender in development policy and management policy has not been realized in many countries.


This course helps to develop an understanding of the concepts of gender and gender inequality particularly as these complex issues apply in developing country contexts. This is done through the analysis of inequality in such factors as globalisation, education, organisational development, human development issues, and national development programming, and legal frameworks, as well as, for example, through the work of women’s empowerment groups. The enduring role of social norms in the persistence of gender inequalities is specifically explored, as is a how different socio-cultural contexts exhibit different social norms

Knowledge and understanding

• Provide students with a critical and foundational understanding of the theoretical perspectives and concepts that have underpinned the field of gender and public policy development, including WID, WAD, GAD approaches and critical men’s studies, masculinities and organizations.
• Enable students to understand the link between gender and key debates within development and HRD policy and practice such as: managing inequalities in organizations/societies, National Action Plans (NAP) and public management; managing ICTs, poverty, power, empowerment and social change, and the role of masculinities/femininities in gender, organizations and development.
• Enable students to develop analytical and evaluation skills in relation to gender planning and HRD policy at the organizational and national levels so as to enhance women’s/men’s knowledge, skills and capabilities in the global economy.

Intellectual skills

• The course unit should provide familiarity with key analytical debates in the field of gender and development.
• Students should be able to appreciate the intellectual origins of gender analysis and to explore contemporary debates in development theory, ICTS, social justice and rights, public management policy and practice.

Practical skills

Students should be able to have a critical appreciation of gender, HRD, politics, governance and state institutions.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

Students should be able to gain a critical appreciation of a range of approaches to managing gender policy in societies and organizations, including training and development, empowerment as well as the gendered nature of policy processes, and masculinities and femininities in development.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written assignment (inc essay) 100%

Feedback methods

Tailored feedback on both assignments via TurnItIn on Blackboard.

Recommended reading

Ashfar, H. and Barrientos S. eds. 1999 Women, Globalization and Fragmentation in the Developing World,  Macmillan, Basingstoke .

Cornwall, A Harrison, Whitehead, A. 2007 Feminisms in Development: Contradictions, Contestations and Challenges, London, New York, Zed Press

Dunne, M. 2008, (ed) Gender, Sexuality and Development: Education and Society in Sub-Saharan Africa , Rotterdam, Sense Publishers.

Hooks. Bell. From Margin to Centre, 2000, Cambridge MA, South End Press.

Jackson, C. and R. Pearson (eds) 1998 Feminist Visions of Development: Gender Analysis and Policy, London: Routledge.

Kabeer, N. 1994 Reversed Realities: Gender Hierarchies in Development Thought, London,Verso.

Malhotra, Schuler and Boender 2002 Measuring Women’s Empowerment  as a Variable in International Development , Background Paper Prepared for the World Bank Workshop on  Poverty and Gender: New Perspectives .

Marchand, M and J Parpart (eds) 1995 Feminism, Postmodernism, Development, London, Routledge.

Metcalfe, B.D. 2008a. A feminist postructuralist analysis of HRD: Why bodies, power and reflexivity matter. Human Resource Development International, 11(5), pp. 447–463.

Metcalfe, B.D. 2008b. ‘Women, management and globalization in the Middle East’. Journal of Business Ethics, 83, pp. 85-100.

Metcalfe, B.D. 2011. Women, empowerment and development in Arab Gulf States: A critical appraisal of governance, culture and national human resource development (HRD) frameworks. Human Resource Development International, 21(2), pp. 131–148.

Metcalfe, B.D. Woodhams, C. 2012 ‘New Directions in gender, diversity and organization theorizing: Re-imagining Feminist Post-colonialism, transnationalism and geographies of power.’. International Journal of Management Reviews Volume 14 2 June 1-22 .

Mohanty, C.T. 2003. ‘Under Western eyes revisited: Feminist solidarity through anti-capitalist struggles’. Signs, 28(2), pp. 499-455.

Moser, Caroline 1993 Gender Planning and Development: Theory, Practice and Training, London,  Routledge


Naples, N.A Desai, M. 2002 Women’s Activism and Globalization, London, Routledge.

Rai., M.S. 2002 Gender and the Political Economy of Development: From Nationalism to Globalization. Cambridge, Polity Press,

Rai, M. 2008 The Gender Politics of Development Zed Books/Zuban Publishers.

Reilly, N. 2010 Women’s Human Rights, Cambridge, Polity.

Utting, P. 2006 Reclaiming Development Agendas, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan.

Yuval-Davis N (2011) The Politics of Belonging: Intersectional Contestations, London, Sage.

Walby, S. (2009) Globalization and Inequalities, London, Sage

World Bank 2012 World Bank Gender Report (BB) on WB website (2014) report will be out semester 1, time TBC).

World Economic Forum 2014 Annual Global Gender Gap (2015 report w

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 20
Tutorials 10
Independent study hours
Independent study 120

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Rory Stanton Unit coordinator

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