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PL31012: Closing global gender gaps

[Page last updated: 02 August 2022]

Academic Year: 2022/23
Owning Department/School: Department of Politics, Languages and International Studies
Credits: 6 [equivalent to 12 CATS credits]
Notional Study Hours: 120
Level: Honours (FHEQ level 6)
Semester 2
Assessment Summary: CW 33%, ES 67%
Assessment Detail:
  • Coursework (CW 33%)
  • Essay (ES 67%)
Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Learning Outcomes: The goals of the course are for students to become experts in the politics of gender inequality, to improve written and oral communication skills, and to hone critical thinking skills by analyzing potential solutions to gender inequality across democracies. By the end of the course, students will be able to:
* Explain how and why women's political opinions and participation differ from men's
* Describe the current state of gender gaps in the corporate world, political opportunity, and within households
* Assess the efficacy (advantages and limitations) of various methods of closing these gender gaps
* Develop their own perspectives of what we know and don't know yet about the causes, consequences, and proposed solutions to gender inequality, and debate these with peers
* Collaborate on a research project and communicate key findings.

Aims: Why is there still a gender wage gap? Does it matter that women make up only 22% of parliaments worldwide? Can political institutions and policies shift deeply-held cultural attitudes towards women's role in society? This course examines the causes and consequences of gender inequality in the workforce, political life, and the household from an interdisciplinary perspective. We will draw on theory and literature from political science, international relations, economics, and other disciplines to learn about cutting edge research in the field. Starting with definitions of gender and the evolution of gender norms over time, we will critically analyze links between gender identity and multiple facets of life, from reaching senior management roles to organizing child care within the family to the role of gender in the military and peacebuilding. The course takes an in-depth look into areas where ongoing challenges exist, paying special attention to promising policies or interventions to promote gender equality.

Skills: Skills in critical analysis, conceptual thinking, precision in the use of written and spoken language, exercise of independent judgement, reasoned argument, teamwork and the planning/conduct/reporting of research are developed and assessed in this unit.

Content: The content of the course will include: defining gender, gender norms and gendered preferences, the gender pay gap, women in leadership, women's movements, gender quotas, the second shift, inclusive security and peacebuilding, gender gaps in development.

Programme availability:

PL31012 is Optional on the following programmes:

Department of Politics, Languages and International Studies
  • UHPL-AYB13 : BA(Hons) French and Politics with Year Abroad (Year 4)
  • UHPL-AYB12 : BA(Hons) German and Politics with Year Abroad (Year 4)
  • UHPL-AYB16 : BA(Hons) Italian ab initio and Politics with Year Abroad (Year 4)
  • UHPL-AYB17 : BA(Hons) Spanish and Politics with Year Abroad (Year 4)
  • UHPL-AFB30 : BSc(Hons) Politics and International Relations (Year 3)
  • UHPL-AAB30 : BSc(Hons) Politics and International Relations with Study year abroad (Year 4)
  • UHPL-AKB30 : BSc(Hons) Politics and International Relations with Year long work placement (Year 4)
  • UHPL-AFB10 : BSc(Hons) Politics with Economics (Year 3)
  • UHPL-AAB10 : BSc(Hons) Politics with Economics with Study year abroad (Year 4)
  • UHPL-AKB10 : BSc(Hons) Politics with Economics with Year long work placement (Year 4)


  • This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2022/23 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2023/24 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2022/23.
  • Programmes and units are subject to change in accordance with normal University procedures.
  • Availability of units will be subject to constraints such as staff availability, minimum and maximum group sizes, and timetabling factors as well as a student's ability to meet any pre-requisite rules.
  • Find out more about these and other important University terms and conditions here.