INTH-414-01 Gender, Health & Development
Fall for 2017-2018
This course provides a broad, policy-oriented, introduction to the role of gender in global health and development. In recent years, growing awareness has produced a large scholarly literature and broad support for gender mainstreaming in global health and development, e.g. in advocacy around the post-2015 development agenda. The premise is that the gendered organization of societies and economies has important implications for the health of people and in turn for the development prospects of nations.
While much of the literature focuses on particular challenges faced by women and girls, the course will also ask important questions relating to the neglected distinction between sex as a biological category and gender as a social category. In this class we will think about ‘gender’ as a metaphor for hierarchical relations between different groups, not just between men and women.
Although women and girls are typically the most directly affected by gender discrimination, there are important disadvantages faced by men and boys as well. This is particularly relevant when one examines the intersections of gender with class, age, race, and ethnicity. In many parts of the world today, poor young men seem to be falling off the development ladder. Similarly, thinking about the health impact of the social and economic disadvantages of women, we will look at the myriad ways in which these inequalities translate into poor health outcomes for others (e.g. children) and slow down economic and social development in general.
The overall goal of the course is to probe the concepts underlying gender, global health and development, to analyze the postulated theoretical relationships, and assess how empirical evidence compares to these theoretical expectations. We will reexamine what is meant by gender, analyze the consequences of gender discrimination, and develop pragmatic policy approaches to address gender differentials in health with a particular focus on developing countries.
Other academic years
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