• Class Number 4686
  • Term Code 3250
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery Online or In Person
    • AsPr Rebecca Monson
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 25/07/2022
  • Class End Date 23/09/2022
  • Census Date 05/08/2022
  • Last Date to Enrol 05/08/2022
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

The course convenor, Associate Professor Rebecca Monson has led the development of law, governance and development teaching in the ANU College of Law and has extensive experience working on questions of social inequality, legal and institutional pluralism, and development, particularly in the Pacific region. Rebecca regularly works in collaborative teams providing technical assistance and advice to governments, non-government organisations and institutions including the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the International Organization for Migration, DFAT, and the International Women’s Development Agency. Prior to joining the ANU, Rebecca worked as a legal practitioner specialising in emergency and disaster law.


This course is research led, with course content drawing on the specialist research interests of the convenor and guest lecturers. The names and brief biographies of guest lecturers will be posted on Wattle as they are finalised.


Rebecca’s approach to teaching is influenced by Teresia Teaiwa’s concept of the classroom as a metaphorical canoe, in which the teacher is chief navigator and everyone is on a shared learning journey (see Teaiwa 2005). The course is highly interactive, with a range of discussions and activities that emphasise inquiry-based learning, self-reflection, reciprocity and respect. The class will cover current debates and programs addressing the intersection of gender, law and development, and will also consider the processes by which knowledge about people, legal systems and places is produced. The Assessment tasks have been designed to enable and require students to develop and demonstrate these skills.

Required Resources

Access to Wattle

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.

Other Information

Task submission times refer to Canberra time (AEST/AEDT).

Extensions, late submission and penalties: https://law.anu.edu.au/current-students/policies-procedures/extensions-late-submission-and-penalties

Deferred examination: http://www.anu.edu.au/students/program-administration/assessments-exams/deferred-examinations

Special consideration: http://www.anu.edu.au/students/program-administration/assessments-exams/special-assessment-consideration

Word length and excess word penalties: https://law.anu.edu.au/current-students/policies-procedures/word-length-and-excess-word-penalties

Further information about the course: is available from the course WATTLE page. Students are required to access the WATTLE site regularly throughout the course for any announcements relating to the course.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Preparatory Materials will be provided prior to the first class.
2 Law and Development: History and Core Concepts
3 Gender and Development: History and Core Concepts
4 Gender and Legal Pluralities
5 Land, Property and Recognition
6 Labour, Economic Empowerment and Food Security
7 Political Participation, Corporate Diversity and Gender Quotas
8 Conflict, Security and Transitions
9 Gender Based Violence and Questions of Scale
10 Practising Gender, Law and Development: MeToo and Decolonising Aid
11 Class wrap up

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Class Presentation 10 % * 08/08/2022 1,2,3,4
Reflective reading journal 40 % 15/08/2022 18/08/2022 1,2,3,4
Research essay 50 % 24/08/2022 16/09/2022 1,2,3,5

* 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 Academic Integrity . 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.


For all courses taught in any mode (whether face to face or online), the ANU College of Law considers participation in the classes offered to be an important part of the educational experience of the program. Students are expected to attend all classes. If circumstances arise which are beyond a student’s control and they are unable to attend a class, the student should contact the Course Convenor in advance (where possible), so that the convenor can adjust their expectations in relation to numbers for that class. If it is not possible to give advance notice, students should send the convenor an email as soon as possible with evidence to support the reason for failure to attend.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 10 %
Return of Assessment: 08/08/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Class Presentation

Details of Task: Collective class presentation. One of the core activities during this class is discussing core concepts and their application to 'real world' examples, including specific development programs. The class presentation will be collective. Students will be allocated to a group of 3-5 people (depending on the final registration numbers), and a specific topic for Week 2. They will be provided with key materials (for example a program design document) and will consider the relationship with core concepts and debates discussed throughout the course. Students are free to decide on the precise format of their presentation. For example, it could be a 'conventional' presentation accompanied by slides, or a mock 'interview' or meeting occurring in an NGO or donor's offices, or a panel supposedly taking place at a conference. Students may use slides, video or other media to assist the presentation. The collective presentation will be followed by a class discussion.

Weight: 10%

Release: The presentations will take place on August 1,2,3 or 4, between 9.00-11.30am. Students will be allocated to a particular class by the first week.

Due Date: Students will be allocated to one particular day in the second week, between 1 August 2022 and 4 August 2022. Due to the nature of the task no late submission is permitted.

Length: The total length of each group presentation will depend on the number of the presenters. Each individual student should present for a maximum of 10 minutes. 

Return of Assessment: Monday 8 August 2022

Assessment Criteria:

  • Ability to work as a team and to deliver a coherent presentation, which also affords each member of the team the opportunity to participate on an equitable basis; 
  • Choice of format that is appropriate, accessible, and engaging; 
  • Clarity of your main thesis and of any secondary arguments; 
  • Comprehension of competing conceptual approaches, their strengths and weaknesses, and application to specific examples.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 40 %
Due Date: 15/08/2022
Return of Assessment: 18/08/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Reflective reading journal

Details of Task: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.

Relationship between the Assessment Task and the Course Objectives: This assessment task is relevant to all learning outcomes, but is particularly relevant to Learning Outcomes 3 and 4. This course requires students to practice a reflexive approach to the study of gender, law and development, and to reflect on their own present or future roles in these fields. The Reflective Reading Journal requires students not only to examine the theoretical relationship between law, governance and development and the implications for programming, but to go one step further and explicitly link it to their own experience and position as a student and/or professional.

Students who do not have any professional experience working in gender, law and development should not be concerned – they will be able to draw on their experiences as a student. This assessment task will be discussed in detail on the final day.

Weight: 40%

Length: 2400 words. Assessment must be submitted in a word processing file format (.doc, .docx). PDF files are not acceptable.

Due Date: 5pm, Monday 15 August 2022. Due to the nature of the task no late submission is permitted.

Return of Assessment: 18 August 2022

Assessment Criteria: Your review should seek to critically examine the key points, arguments and themes across each session; identify where they differ or converge; and reflect on the implications for your own practices in relation to gender, law and development. Your critical review will be assessed against the following criteria:

(a) Understanding of the issues

  • Evidence of reading, understanding and reflection on the core issues raised in the prescribed readings and in the course.
  • Consideration of how these ideas might apply to the student’s current or future role as a law and development practitioner.

(b) Communication and development of argument

  • Clear, logical and well-ordered argument that is drawn from, and builds upon, the prescribed reading and the your reflections

(c) Argument and analysis

  • Original, reasoned arguments, considering, contrasting and analysing competing views and articulating the aspect of the literature that you consider most important or relevant.
  • Demonstration of an analytic focus on the relationships between, and the interests of, the many stakeholders in gender, law and development initiatives.
  • Engaging with the larger themes addressed in the course.

(d) Presentation, style and referencing

  • Structure, use of paragraphs and headings (if appropriate), grammar, clear and concise expression, style and full and accurate footnotes according to AGLC (3rd ed 2010).

Assessment Task 3

Value: 50 %
Due Date: 24/08/2022
Return of Assessment: 16/09/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,5

Research essay

Details of Task: 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 that proposals must be emailed to the course convenor by 8 August in order to allow discussion and feedback during the final class on 9 August.

Relationship between the Assessment Task and the Course Objectives: This assessment task is relevant to all learning outcomes, but is particularly relevant to Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 3 and 5. This assessment will allow students to employ the skills they have developed during the course and demonstrate their understanding of a variety of research and writing methods, their ability to communicate an argument, and their capacity to undertake research using appropriate methodology.

Weight: 50%

Length: 3,000 words. Assessment must be submitted in a word processing file format (.doc, .docx). PDF files are not acceptable.

Due Date: 5pm, Wednesday 24 August 2022. Late submissions (without an extension) are permitted, but late penalties will apply. 

Return of Assessment: 16 September 2022

Assessment Criteria:

The criteria for assessment include:

(a) Understanding of the issues

  • the choice of the research topic or question, having regard to difficulty, originality and relevance to the course;
  • evidence of literature review to identify points of debate or contention among authors in the field; and
  • material chosen relates clearly to the topic and is analysed not just summarised or quoted extensively.

(b) Communication and development of argument

  • the quality and coherence of the arguments made;
  • the degree of complexity and insight demonstrated in dealing with the issues related to the research topic;
  • extent to which competing arguments are considered and addressed
  • use of case studies or examples to explore the key issues.

(c) Research

  • the breadth and/or depth of research, and the choice of materials and sources;
  • use of a range of resources, including primary and secondary material and theoretical literature;
  • critical analysis of material, rather than simply summarising or extensively quoting material; and
  • good organisation of sources and ability to synthesise all the research materials used, both in relation to the literature review and case studies or examples. 

(d) Presentation, style and referencing

  • the clarity of the structure and the organisation of the paper;
  • appropriate referencing.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically, committing to honest and responsible scholarly practice and upholding these values with respect and fairness.

The ANU commits to assisting all members of our community to 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 be familiar with the academic integrity principle and Academic Misconduct Rule, 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 Academic Misconduct Rule is in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Very minor breaches of the academic integrity principle may result in a reduction of marks of up to 10% of the total marks available for the assessment. The ANU offers a number of online and in person services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. Visit the Academic Skills website for more information about academic integrity, your responsibilities and for assistance with your assignments, writing skills and study.

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 tests or examinations.
  • Late submission with an extension. To ensure equity for all students, the 5% penalty per working day for late submission of work does not apply if you have been given an extension. Where an extension is granted, the revised due date and submission time is provided in writing. Please note that the revised due date is calculated by including weekends and public holidays. Regardless of which day of the week the revised due date falls on, students who submit after that date are penalised by 5% of the possible marks available for the assessment task per 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.

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. Extensions may be granted 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

Critical law and development; gender and development; feminist political ecology; Pacific Studies

AsPr Rebecca Monson

By Appointment

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions