A highlight of recent debates around environmental sustainability and management has been the issue of inclusion and exclusion of particular groups, with a particular focus on gender inclusion as a prerequisite to better management of resources. The course aims to engage with this contemporary literature and theoretical perspectives to broaden the students’ understanding of environmental sustainability. It will explore women and men’s participation and roles in environment and natural resource management with an emphasis on developing countries.
This course encourages the students to ask whether women have equal access to resources relative to men; whether they are key agents of environmental management, and whether resource and environmental development projects have gender differentiated impacts. It equips students to integrate gender in natural resource and environmental projects in developing countries to foster more equitable and sustainable outcomes.
To address the above questions, the course is organised around three major aspects. Firstly, it will expose the participants to different theoretical approaches to women/gender, environmental management and development. It will also train students in the application of such knowledge to analysing development projects by offering a number of case studies from different countries. Lastly, it will critically reflect on the problematic position of women in environmental representations and in tackling of environmental problems.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
Course participants who satisfy all requirements of the courses will have the knowledge and skills to:
- demonstrate a critical appreciation of major gender issues in environmental and resource management in a development context;
- apply the concepts and approaches used by scholars and practitioners in linking gender and environmental issues in developmental contexts;
- analyse and formulate environmental management projects from a gender perspective, and appraise such a project or policy in terms of its likely gender impacts; and
- reflect critically on and discuss own learning as it relates to the concepts and methods introduced in the course.
a) Class/Tutorial Participation (10%) Based on overall student contributions to in-class discussions or online Wattle discussions, particularly assessing their knowledge of the readings. This satisfies Learning Outcomes 1 & 2.
b) Literature Review (30%): Students are asked to select a theme or topic and provide a 2000 word review of three key readings on that theme. These readings could be selected from the required readings or other literature in consultation with the lecturer. The literature review should be concise, and accessible, and provide a critical analysis of the selected articles. This assessment will be undertaken mid-way through the course and addresses Learning Outcomes 1 & 2.
c) Major Essay (50%): At the end of the course, students will write a 4,000 word essay that focuses on a country, sectoral, thematic, policy or methodological issue related to the course. They would be expected to review the relevant literature to critically analyze key arguments, and demonstrate their understanding the relevance of gender to a particular natural resource management context. Students must consult with the course convenor before commencing the project. Essays will be graded on the basis of analytical content, scholarly rigour, viability of the recommendations, accessibility and persuasiveness of presentation. This satisfies Los 2 & 3.
d) Reflective Journal (10%): Closer to the end of the course, students will write a 500 word note, responding personally to their learning in the course and to make connections between the course content and a ‘real life’ experience, situation or event. More broadly speaking, the short paper explores and reflects on the learning, and encourages the student to reflect on what aspects of the learning were meaningful at an individual level. The point of this assessment is in accordance with feminist praxis of reflexivity. This satisfies Los 1 & 4.
Marking rubrics will be developed for each task.
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100 hours: 36 contact hours (12 hours of lecture, 24 hours of tutorials and in-class workshops); 64 hours of library/online work.
Each week students will have two required readings and additional supplementary readings.
The interdisciplinary nature of the course requires the use of several books and articles rather than a specific text book, and an indicative list of readings is given below:
Agarwal, Bina (1991) Engendering the environment debate: Lessons from the Indian subcontinent, CASID Distinguished Speaker Series no. 8, Michigan State University.
Collaborative paper (2011) Gender and environment: critical tradition and new challenges, Environment and Planning D, Society & Space.
Cornwall, Andrea, Elizabeth Harrison and Ann Whitehead (2007) Gender myths and feminist fables: The struggle for interpretative power in gender and development, Development and Change, 38(1), 1-20.
Jackson, C. (1993) Doing what comes naturally? Women and environment in development, World Development 21(12), pp. 1947-63.
Leach, Melissa (2007) Earth Mother myths and other ecofeminist fables: How a strategic notion rose and fell, Development and Change, 38(1) 67-85.
Shiva, Vandana (1988) Staying Alive: Women, Ecology and Development, London: Zed Books, pp. 14-37; 38-54.
Zwarteveen, M.Z (1995) Linking women to the main canal: Gender and irrigation management, Gatekeeper Series 54, IIED.
Relevant web resources:
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- Unit value:
- 6 units
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|Class start date
|Last day to enrol
|Class end date
|Mode Of Delivery
|27 Jul 2018
|27 Jul 2018
|10 Aug 2018
|28 Sep 2018
|27 Jul 2018
|27 Aug 2018
|10 Aug 2018
|28 Sep 2018