Global Gender

Women on the Move in a Globalized World


Global Gender Regimes Online (May 13, 2018)

Week One Themes:  Introductions.  Measuring the Impact of Gender.

1.  Read over all elements of the course on the Course Website (Course Purpose, Course Assignments and Grade Breakdown, Texts, Week by Week Course Plan).  Email Dr. Brunell with any questions, clarifications.

2.  Make a short introductory video of yourself (or post a photo and a written bio/introduction if this is technologically beyond you!).  Post to Classwide Discussion Board Introduction Videos Forum. Why are you taking this course?  What countries or regions in the world are you interested in and why? Post to DB by 5:00 pm, Wednesday, May 23.

3.  Read the Introduction to The Penguin Atlas of Women in the World.  What happened to progress?  Americans tend to have an optimistic view of the world (e.g., things are always getting better, a cure for cancer is just around the corner, no need to worry about climate change, it’ll sort itself out.)  But, in her introduction to The Atlas, Joni Seager argues that there have been some positive changes in women’s status and well-being worldwide BUT ALSO retrenchment.  On Classwide Discussion Board Week 1 Forum: Progress? discuss one factor she singles out in her introduction responsible for either progress or back-sliding in women’s well-being over the past generation (30 years or so).  Post by Friday, May 25, at 5:00 pm.

4.  What country would you like to research this term for your Course Project (see list in Course Project description)? Email your rank-order list of your top 3 countries to choose from for your Course Project to Dr. B by Sunday, May 27, at 5:00 pm.  I will sort you into Discussion Groups by using your preferences.


Week Two Themes: Gender and Power; Women (or the lack thereof) in Politics.

1.  Questions to Guide Your Reading:  Why should anyone be concerned about gender disparities, i.e., differences between the achievement or power of one gender vs. the other?  What can we or should we infer from gender disparities?

2.  Browse Part 1 of The Atlas.  What regional patterns do you discern?  What do you think is causing these patterns? 

3.  Browse “Power” (in Part 7) in The Atlas.  Read Chapters 1 and 3 in Women, Politics and Power (henceforth, Paxton and Hughes).  What does the proportion of women serving in a country’s national legislature tell us about a particular country’s beliefs about gender?  Globally, what is the average proportion of women serving in national legislatures?  What is the proportion in the US?  In the country or countries you are most interested in?

4.   Examine data presented in Paxton and Hughes pp. 18-20 and enumerate the main determinants of gender power disparities they highlight in the text pp. 21-30.  What explanations do they give about why women are under-represented in politics?  Do you think it’s important for women to be well-represented in politics?  Why?  Post your answers to the questions listed under items 1-4 to the your Discussion Group's Week 2 Forum: Gender and Politics by Friday, June 1, 5:00 pm .  You will access your Group's Discussion Board (it's under the Groups menu item on the Course Menu on the left-side of your screen in Blackboard.  I've created a forum for each week.)  For your first post, introduce yourself and your choice of country to your group.  Tell the group why you chose your country, what you hope to learn about gender in this country and region of the world.  

5.  Start researching the status of women in the country you have been assigned for your Course Project. Use the data (and refer to their sources) found in our texts and others suggested on the Project page. Also search for books, academic journal articles, news stories by reputable journalistic sources and, lastly, REPUTABLE internet sources (e.g. sites hosted by think tanks, research centers, NGOs, academics, etc).

6. Make a second post to your group's Week 2 Forum about the women's level of political participation/representation by Sunday, June 3, 5 p.m.  Is your region/country a leader or laggard when it comes to women’s representation and participation in politics?  Why?  Why should we care whether women in your country participate in the political process and are represented among the country’s ruling elites?   

Week Three Theme:  Untying the Gordian Knot:  Gender and Culture

1. Questions to Guide Your Reading:  How do cultural and religious beliefs shape women’s status, in general across societies and in particular in the country you’ve chosen to study?  How much power do women in your country exert in the family, in the “private” sphere?   How is this measured across countries?  How well educated are they compared to women in other countries (use categories and indices used in The Atlas)?  How physically safe are women in your country?  What are the main forms and sources of violence they encounter? 

2. Read Chapter 4 “Explaining the Political Representation of Women – Culture” in Paxton and Hughes and these sections in The Atlas of Women:  Households; Marriage and Divorce; Domestic Violence; Rape; Murder; Literacy, School, Higher Education, Property, Poverty and Debt.

3.  Media Spotlight:  Marriage and Courtship Practices.  View:

Sonita on Netflix (Afghani girl in Pakistan)
On Kanopy
In the Name of Love (Russian mail order brides)
Seeking Asian Female (Asian mail order brides)
Leaving Home (traditional marriage in rural India)
Having It All (American women juggling family and career)

4.  Begin researching the lives of women in your country. What religion predominates and how has it affected gender roles, the gender division of labor, women’s workforce participation, women’s involvement in politics in your country?  How many children do they tend to have?   Begin thinking in terms of “public” vs. “private” sphere.

5. Post to your Discussion Group's Week 3 Forum on your reactions to the films we viewed and describing religion and culture shape beliefs about gender; women and men’s public and private roles and responsibilities; and the gender division of labor and family life in your country by 5:00 pm, Friday, June 8.   From reading about women in the other group members’ countries, what commonalities and differences do you see in terms of cultural influences on PRIVATE sphere gender roles for women and men globally?  How do PRIVATE sphere roles affect PUBLIC sphere roles?  Respond to group members' posts about these commonalities and differences by Sunday, June 10, 5 p.m.


Week Four Themes:  Women and Work; Gender in the Global Economy

1. Questions to Guide Your Reading:  How active are women in the formal and informal economy in your country; in the world?  What roles are women playing in the global economy? What notions of masculinity and femininity are embedded in the world economy?  What is an EPZ?  How are they structured by gender? What cultural myths AND economic development strategies are shaping the roles of women from your country in the global economy today?

What external and internal factors shape women’s participation in the paid or formal economy in your country?  What is the gender division of labor?  What is occupational segregation and why does it exist?  Why do women tend to work fewer hours (for pay) than men? What sectors of the economy do they tend to work in?  What is the gender pay gap in your country?  How rich or poor are women in your country?

2.  Reading:  Chapter 5 “Explaining the Political Representation of Women - Social Structure” in Paxton and Hughes and sections on Working for Wages; Workplaces; Unequal Opportunities; Farming; Unpaid Work; Wired Women, Migration, Global Sex Trafficking, in The Atlas.

3.  Visit these Lecture Note Links:

Women’s Work

Women on the Move in a Globalizing World

Gender and IPE in the Global South

Women in Light Industry

Women in Latin America


Stats Comparing Women in W Europe, E Europe and US

East Europe's Greatest Commodity:  Its Women

Lean In

4.  Research women and work in your country.  What kinds of public policies does your country have regarding paid maternity/paternity leave, mother's salaries, child or family allowances, and women's employment?  Discover the average number of hours worked for pay and for no pay (in the home, in agriculture or family business) by women and men in your country.  What is the gender wage gap in your country?  What roles are women (and men) in your country playing in the global economy?  How have globalization and flexible accumulation regimes affected the workforce participation of women in your country?  Post answers to at least two of the questions listed here to your group's Week 4 Forum by 5:00 pm Friday, June 15.

5. Media Spotlight:  Post a link to a film, YouTube video, podcast or some other kind of media that you feel is particularly revealing of the status of women or girls in your country to your group's Week 4 Forum by 5:00 pm Friday, June 15.

6.  View or listen to at least 2 other films/media posted by others in the class and post a response about commonalities and/or differences you see between the status of women and girls in other countries and the one you are studying by 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, June 17. 


Week Five: Pulling it all together:  Comparing Gender Regimes, Completing and Sharing Your Research

1. Read the chapter on your region in Paxton and Hughes.

2.  Browse these Lecture Note Links:

Introduction to Gender Regime

Introduction to Regime Types

2.  Compile your Power Point Presentation on your Country’s Gender Regime using information you’ve accumulated over the course.

2. Fill in Gender Regime Table – ONE ROW ONLY:  the one that you feel best describes your country. Make sure you add information under the last three columns.  You can also make changes/additions to the information in the 2nd and 3rd columns and/or CHANGE THE NAME of the REGIME to better fit your country.  Make this the last slide (note:  your last slide(s) should be your Endnotes/Works Cited slides) in your presentation. **Upload your presentation to Blackboard by 5:00 pm, Friday, June 22.  I will send you comments and suggested revisions by Sunday, June 24, 5:00 pm.  Make whatever changes I suggest and then post your revised presentation to your Group's Week 5 Forum by 5:00 pm Tuesday, June 26.

4. Comment on the presentations of all the other students in your GROUP by Thursday, June 28 at 5 p.m.  Do this by clicking on their post then clicking ”Reply” in the thread where they have posted their presentations.  What did you learn or confirm about women’s in different parts of the world by looking at their presentations? Be sure to do so in a way that demonstrates mastery of information gleaned from this class, e.g. referring to analytical concepts and measures we have become familiar with and referencing authors, theories or data sources we have been exposed to in the class.  Every one of your comments doesn’t have to be equally long and comprehensive but taken together your posts should demonstrate your greater understanding of women’s status in various countries.  Try NOT using the words “I found it really interesting… .”

5. Post your presentation to the Classwide Discussion Forum for Presentations by Thursday, June 28 at 5 p.m.  


Week Six: Integrating and Reflection on Global Gender Regimes

1.  In the Classwide Presentation Forum, browse the presentations on 2-3 countries NOT covered by someone in your Discussion Group .  

2.  Comment (i.e., post) to the whole class on what you have learned by comparing the gender regimes of your Discussion Group and others in the class.  Where and what kind of progress has been made?  Where has women’s status been eroded or is it under threat?  Why?  What can we do to reverse negative trends and encourage positive ones?

3. Write your Final Essay (3-5 pages) addressing the following questions:

       a) What factors are affecting women’s status – for good and for ill – in today’s world?   

       b) What you will tell others about the lives of women in the country and region you studied most closely;

       c) What are the strongest similarities about women’s lives across various regions of the world?

       d) How have your ideas about how gender structures our lives changed as a result of the course?

4.  Turn in your essay through TurnItIn link in Blackboard.  Due by Saturday, June 30, 5:00 pm.

Laura Brunell
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