Gender and Global Politics

June 4, 2003

Dr. Neathery-Castro (
ASH 378 5:30-7:10 M/W

My Office Hours: M/W 4:30-5:30pm, or by appointment
University of Nebraska at Omaha
ASH 275, 554-3611
Spring 2000

Course Overview

This course examines to what extent women participate in the decisions that shape the political and economic world and the goals of women in politics. While an existing course at UNO looks exclusively at female political participation in the United States, this course connects gender politics to both comparative and international relations literatures. We will examine gender s impact on political interests and how foreign domestic and international institutions shape policy results in differential ways for the genders

A constant theme of the course, and its clear connection to service learning, will be the emphasis on critically assessing the role of women in political society and collectively defining and strategizing toward gender equality within the constraints of international political cultures and institutions.

This semester, we will work with the Omaha Public School system and the Southern Sudanese Community Association (SSCA), a volunteer agency that serves refugees from south Sudan. Serving an Omaha community of about 2500 refugees, the SSCA offers several services to the refugees who have fled the civil war-torn Sudan. Many refugees have spent up to 20 years living in UN refugee camps prior to their settlement in Omaha. We will assist with tutoring and mentoring high school Sudanese women in the Omaha Public Schools.

Please be aware that this is a service-learning course, and you will be expected to spend about 2 hours per week in service activities outside of class.

Course Objectives
1) to critically identify the political problems and opportunities women face within their own countries and in the global arena
2) to respectfully examine and evaluate government policies on gender issues
3) to promote creative strategies for reducing bias on the basis of gender, race, ethnicity, class, and sexual orientation
4) to foster collaborative learning and understanding between learners
5) to advance learner leadership skills
6) to connect theory and case study to real-life situations, promoting cognizance of the interrelatedness between personal experience and broader social realities.

The student s final grade will be based on the following:
3 reaction papers — 45%
Quizzes on readings — 10%
Service-Learning Journal — 30%
Attendance/discussion — 15%

Grading scale:
98-100 A+, 88-89 B+, 78-79 C+, 68-69 D+, below 60 F
90-97 A, 80-88 B, 70-77 C, 60-67 D

Key to text abbreviations
Staudt : Staudt, Kathleen, 1998. Policy, Politics & Gender. Kumarian Press.
Hutchinson: Hutchinson, Sharon. 1996. Nuer Dilemmas. Los Angeles: University of California Press.
P&R: Peterson, V. Spike and Anne Sisson Runyan. 1999. Global Gender Issues, 2nd edition. Boulder: Westview Press.

Schedule of readings/assignments: (I reserve the right to modify this syllabus, if necessary)

Week 1 — 1/8, 1/10
Introduction, service info.
Redefining politics?
N&C: ch. 1 Redefining Politics , P&R: ch. 1 Introduction: The Gender of World Politics
P&R: ch. 2 Gender as a Lens on World Politics

Week 2 — 1/15, 1/17
Gender and Power
Class cancelled Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday
Pettman: ch. 2 Women, gender and the state
P&R: ch. 3 Gendered Divisions of Power
Holt, Renee. Women’s Rights And International Law: Struggle For Recognition And Enforcement, Columbia Journal of Gender & Law, v1, n1, 1991.

Week 3 — 1/22, 1/24
Nationalism and Gender
Pettman: ch. 3 Women, gender and nationalisms
Pettman: ch. 4 Women in mostmigratory and postcolonial identities

Week 4 — 1/29, 1/31
The Case of Sudan
Gruenbaum, Ellen. 1990. Nuer Women in Southern Sudan: Health, Reproduction and Work. Lansing: Michigan State University.
Hutchinson, Sharon Elaine. 1999. Nuer Dilemmas: Coping with Money, War and the State. (selections TBA)

Week 5 — 2/5, 2/7
Gender and Education
B&D: ch. 16 Creating Change through Adult Education (Brock-Utne)
Women of the World-Women’s Education in India , 1998 report
Women’s Education in Developing Countries , 1993 (selections TBA)

Week 6 — 2/12, 2/14
Gender and Development
B&D: ch. 12 Women and Development (Kardam)
Pettman: part 3 The International Sexual Division of Labour

Week 7 — 2/19, 2/21
Gender, Peace and War
Pettman: part 2 The Gendered Politics of Peace and War

Week 8 — 2/26, 2/28
Gender , International Movements, and International Organizations
B&D: ch. 12 The UN and Women s Issues (Galey)
P&R: ch. 5 The Politics of Resistance: Women as Nonstate, Antistate, and Transstate Actors

Week 9 — 3/5, 3/7
Gender and Violence
B&D: ch. 10 Thinking about Women and International Violence (Elshtain)

Week 10 — 3/12, 3/14
Work on journals at home
Spring Break no classes

Week 11 — 3/19, 3/21
Wrap up and conclusions
P&R: ch. 6 Ungendering World Politics
Pettman: conclusion

On Written Work:
Be sure to follow an accepted bibliographic form to cite all of your sources, either MLA or APA style. Here are a few simple rules about quotations, paraphrases, and plagiarism.
1. When you copy the words of another, put those words inside quotation marks, and acknowledge the source with a footnote.
2. When you paraphrase another s words, use your own words and your own sentence structure, and be sure to use a footnote giving the source of the idea.
3. A plagiarist often merely changes a few words or simply rearranges the words in the source.
Source: Harbrace College Handbook, p. 407.

Reaction Papers (each worth 10% of course grade)
Reaction papers should be typed, double-spaced and about 3-5 pages in length. Please be thoughtful in these papers, drawing upon readings, class discussion, and your own ideas. They may be e-mailed to me (as an attachment).

Reaction Paper #1 Gendered Visions of the World? Due 1/24 at the beginning of classHow does your gender shape the way you perceive the world? Can you separate your ideology from your gender? How are your political views influenced by your gender?

Reaction Paper #2 War and Gender – Due 2/21 at the beginning of classIs war a masculine enterprise? What role should women play in international conflict? In state or international military organizations? Who should make these decisions?

Reaction Paper #3 International Agenda on Gender – Due 3/5 at the beginning of classSuppose you were convening a conference on international gender issues. What would you focus the conference on? Who would you invite? What would you hope to accomplish?

Service Learning Journal (35% of course grade)
This is basically a log of your service activity. You should have an entry each week. Record the time you spent in the field — both activities and your ongoing thoughts. I will collect these journals a couple of times during the semester, then at the end of the course. I should be able to get a sense of your experiences in the field by reading this journal.

Before you turn it in at the end of the semester, please include a final entry where you summarize both your experiences and your reaction to the entire experience. It should be written in an informal, journalistist style as if you were telling me about your experiences. This should be both a literal and impressionistic account of your experiences working with the community.

Student Information and Acknowledgment Form

Course: PSCI 3920: Gender and Global Politics

Please read the attached syllabus, fill out the information on this cover sheet, and sign it to indicate that you have read and understand the requirements of the course in full. This information helps me understand your needs better, and will be kept confidential. Please detach this sheet and hand it to me at the end of the first class.

Name: ______________________________________
Social Security #: ____________________________
Year in school: _______________________________
Major (if any): _______________________________
E-mail: _____________________________________
Mailing address: ______________________________
Phone number (optional) ________________________

Previous international experience (travel, residence, nationality), if any:

Have you previously taken any classes that dealt with the issue of gender?

Briefly describe your reasons for taking the course:

Tell me one thing about yourself that you would like me to know (i.e. experiences, interests, political ideas)

Are there any special circumstances of which I should be aware?

I have read and understand the course requirements and conditions.



School: University of Nebraska at Omaha
Professor: Dr. Neathery-Castro
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