• Class Number 5658
  • Term Code 2940
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • AsPr Rebecca Monson
    • AsPr Rebecca Monson
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 13/03/2019
  • Class End Date 19/06/2019
  • Census Date 05/04/2019
  • Last Date to Enrol 20/03/2019
SELT Survey Results

Gender issues, particularly in relation to women’s status and rights, occupy a prominent place in debates about aid and development. Law is often perceived to play a crucial role in shaping men’s and women’s social, economic and political opportunities, but also in the ways we conceive of gender in the first place (including the binary construction ‘men/women’).

This course explores the relationship between gender, law and development in historical and comparative perspective. It introduces a range of conceptual frameworks, which are explored through an examination of prominent aid and development issues, such as: 

  • Rights to land; natural resources;
  • Climate change;
  • Employment and labour;
  • Food production, distribution and consumption.

These thematic areas provide an opportunity for students to critically examine the presumed and actual relationship between international and domestic legal frameworks and gender inequality, as well as consider debates about the role and recognition of customary laws and institutions. Particular attention will be paid to the insights of postcolonial feminists and critical race theorists and the work of women of colour. The course will also centre questions of conflict and ideological diversity when it comes to gender, law and development and encourage the students to think critically about these three concepts and their intersection.

This unit draws on the extensive scholarly and applied expertise in gender and development at the ANU and is designed to encourage student engagement and participation. 

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Demonstrate a broad understanding of conceptual and theoretical debates regarding the relationship between law, gender and development.
  2. Investigate, consider and explain debates about law and gender relations in the histories and social landscapes of particular countries;
  3. Identify the conceptual underpinnings of a development project or policy and consider the likely gender impacts of it;
  4. Critically reflect on their own experiences of gender and development and the conceptual underpinnings of their own assumptions, approaches and methods; and
  5. Plan and execute a complex legal research project and produce original scholarship on gender relations, law and development.

Research-Led Teaching

This course is research-led, with course content drawing on the specialist research interests of teaching staff, including both the convenor and guest lecturers. The course convenor, Rebecca Monson, has extensive experience in both research and practice in the law, governance and development field, particularly in relation to gender justice in the Pacific. The course is highly interactive, with a range of activities that emphasis inquiry-based learning in which students investigate current issues and debates regarding gender, law and development. Course content also emphasises the need to uncover and understand the processes by which knowledge about people and places in the so-called “developing world” is produced. Assessment tasks have been designed to provide students with multiple opportunities to develop and demonstrate these skills. 

Required Resources

There is no prescribed text for this course. All readings will be made available via an e-brick and/or the Wattle site.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • written comments
  • verbal comments
  • feedback to whole class, groups, individuals, focus group etc

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Introduction: Overview and unpacking definitions of ‘gender’, ‘law’ and ‘development’
2 Legal pluralism and gender justice
3 Access to resources and property rights
4 ‘Work’ and ‘economic empowerment’
5 Political participation and leadership
6 Natural disasters, civil conflict and humanitarian action
7 Gender based violence and violence against women
8 Practising in the gender, law and development field

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Class participation 10 % 13/03/2019 19/06/2019 1,2,3,4
Reading Memo 20 % 13/03/2019 01/05/2019 1,2
Reflective Reading Journal 30 % 15/05/2019 31/05/2019 3,4
Research paper 40 % 07/06/2019 21/06/2019 1,2,3,4

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website. In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


This unit draws on the extensive scholarly and applied expertise in gender and development at the ANU and is designed to encourage student engagement and participation. 

Student participation will be assessed on the following criteria:

(a) Preparation and understanding of the material

•     evidence that assigned readings have been read and consulted in advance of the seminars

(b) Thinking critically about the material

•     Evidence that material between various aspects of the class and different lectures has been linked

•     Evidence that the student has engaged critically with the course material, by looking at questions from different angles and questioning their assumptions

•     The use of relevant practical examples (this may include their own personal and professional experience) to tease out the theoretical relationship between gender, law and development

(c) Expressing ideas clearly

(d) Engaging with other students

•     Engagement and interaction with others, by encouraging others to speak, responding to what others have said, and being respectful of a range of views and opinions 

Assessment Task 1

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 13/03/2019
Return of Assessment: 19/06/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Class participation

Class Participation will be marked for contributions to class discussion during the course.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 13/03/2019
Return of Assessment: 01/05/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2

Reading Memo

This assessment consists of a short piece summarising, reviewing and reflecting upon all of the prescribed readings (not the materials for class discussion) for one week. Readings will be allocated to students during the first class.

Readings for each week have been chosen with a view to profiling different views and stimulating discussion. The memo should identify and critically reflect on the different positions taken by the authors of each reading, particularly in relation to their understanding of the nature of, and relationship between, gender, law and development. You will also need to consider how these conceptualisations are linked to the histories and social landscapes of the particular contexts the authors are examining (for example, you may wish to consider whether X and Y authors disagree because they have fundamentally different understandings of the relationship between gender, law and development; or whether their differences are associated with the contexts they are writing about).  

Assessment Task 3

Value: 30 %
Due Date: 15/05/2019
Return of Assessment: 31/05/2019
Learning Outcomes: 3,4

Reflective Reading Journal

Time will be set aside during the classes for students to write brief ‘journal entries’ in which they critically reflect on the prescribed readings, discussions in class, and the implications for their own practice. Following the completion of classes, students may use one or several of these ‘journal entries’ to develop a short reflective essay which focuses on the role of gender and development practitioners in the development process, and the implications for their own practice. Students may choose their own topic for reflection. Students who do not have any professional experience in the gender, law and development field will be able to draw on their experiences as a student. 

Assessment Task 4

Value: 40 %
Due Date: 07/06/2019
Return of Assessment: 21/06/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Research paper

The research paper addresses a research topic related to the course and approved by the Course Instructor. Students may choose to pursue a topic of their choice, after consultation with the course instructors.

Note: topic proposals must be submitted to the Course Convenor by 30 April in order to allow feedback during the remaining classes. 

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of our culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically. This means that all members of the community commit to honest and responsible scholarly practice and to upholding these values with respect and fairness. The Australian National University commits to embedding the values of academic integrity in our teaching and learning. We ensure that all members of our community understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with. The University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Visit the following Academic honesty & plagiarism website for more information about academic integrity and what the ANU considers academic misconduct. The ANU offers a number of services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre offers a number of workshops and seminars that you may find useful for your studies.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Individual assessment tasks may or may not allow for late submission. Policy regarding late submission is detailed below:

  • Late submission not permitted. If submission of assessment tasks without an extension after the due date is not permitted, a mark of 0 will be awarded.
  • Late submission permitted. Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

AsPr Rebecca Monson

Research Interests

Dr Rebecca Monson is a Senior Lecturer in the ANU College of Law and has significant experience in the development and delivery of the law, governance and development program. She has extensive experience working in the fields of law and development, regulatory or legal pluralism, and social inequality and the postcolonial state. Her work is interdisciplinary and draws on critical and feminist approaches in law, geography and anthropology. Prior to joining the ANU, Rebecca worked as a legal practitioner specialising in emergency and disaster law. She regularly undertakes consultancies relating to justice systems, and gender and development. She has fieldwork experience in Fiji, Vanuatu and Solomon Islands and has also undertaken work relating to Papua New Guinea and Timor Leste.

AsPr Rebecca Monson

Wednesday 15:00 16:00
AsPr Rebecca Monson

Research Interests

AsPr Rebecca Monson

Wednesday 15:00 16:00

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