Gender and Development

This course aims to introduce you to the various approaches and assumptions that are implicit in the phrase Gender and Development. The everyday use of the term "Development" assumes that societies are on a linear path of continuous material improvement in terms of technology, economics, population growth, health, and education. Secondly, the phrase Gender and Development is usually understood to mean that women need to be brought on board the development project. Critics of the linear approach to development argue that social change linked to colonialism and migration in the third world have contributed to these societies’ economic and social underdevelopment. Similarly feminists have argued that development for women is more complex than a simple process of adding women to general development.

In this course we use gender as a central category of analysis and critically examine how gender hierarchies and stereotypes about gender and work are set in place through historical processes. We examine how the measures and processes of development are gendered as well as what policies and institutions have been set in place both nationally and internationally to advocate for gender justice. We will draw on case studies from the ‘South’ to illustrate the debates in this field with reference to selected countries in Sub-Saharan Arica. We examine the gendered processes within areas such as the meaning of women’s work in the economy; gendered labour practices, the sexual division of labour within the household; gender and development in the context of crisis and conflict; well as the place of men in development.

Below we have a "Related" section. This is regularly updated with news, resouces and events on gender and development.

Listen to PODCAST of Yaliwe Clarke (Lecturer, Gender Studies) reflecting on teaching Gender and Development




Renowned Ugandan activist Winnie Byanyima has been appointed executive director of Oxfam International — a role that provides strategic direction and co-ordination for the worldwide confederation of Oxfam affiliates.


Gender & Development is the only journal published to focus specifically on international gender and development issues, and to explore the connections between gender and development initiatives, and feminist perspectives.

Click here to access the journal.


Local feminist movements in Africa have proliferated and changed dramatically throughout the postcolonial era, alongside a parallel growth of feminist theory and scholarship internationally.

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