This course is a survey of how central aspects of political life, from the state to social movements, are informed by gender. One of the social relations of power that organizes human interaction in all countries, gender can be understood as the socially constructed differences between men and women. Throughout the course we will explore both the ways in which political institutions and processes reflect gender inequality and the various means by which people have demanded an end to structural and institutional discrimination on the basis of gender. The course begins with a look at gender-based political analysis from both Western and Third World perspectives. It then explores key topics in comparative politics, drawing from a wide selection of contrasting nation-state experiences. Those topics include: how theocracies use gender as a central axis of control; why gender makes a difference in political representation; how to promote gender equality among political office-holders; and how national and transnational movements promote change on gender-related issues.
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Gender and Politics
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64 posts | Friday, October 31, 2008 7:38 AM
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More than a century ago, women spent months traveling by ship to attend the first international congress on women's rights in Paris in 1878. Without the benefit of airplanes and Internet access, people's passages to and from international conventions were much more laborious and time-consuming; technological developments have made a world of difference. Nowadays, women cross borders of language, nation, gender, generation and genre more easily in their efforts to create a better world for themselves and their communities. In fact, this border has become commonplace. But why?
On August 28, 2008, Senator John McCain's announcement of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate for the Republican presidential ticket in the United States stirred up emotions and controversy. Much of the reaction stems from her biography. Palin, a former small-town mayor, has governed her state for less than two years. A mother of five children, including a baby with Down Syndrome, Palin, 44, identifies as a conservative Christian, a gun enthusiast and an avid moose hunter. She is the first female Republican VP candidate; the only other major-party female VP candidate was Democrat Geraldine Ferraro in 1984.
On September 3, 2008, Palin spoke to supporters at the Republican National Convention, officially accepting her nomination. Since her speech, conversations have been rampant all over the United States, but I.M.O.W. has been curious about what those outside of the United States are saying. Here is a selection of thoughts and reactions from women bloggers around the world.
To add your voice to our discussion of Sarah Palin, please visit our Community Forum.