Skip to 0 minutes and 5 secondsDR.

Skip to 0 minutes and 5 secondsMAREE PARDY: Hi, I'm Maree Pardy, and I'll be leading you through this open course, Gender and Development. First, this is my colleague Dr. Francesca Bussey. We call her Fran. And she'll also be working with us on the course. Gender and the gender agenda has been well and truly mainstreamed. It's a concern now, as we've seen, for celebrities, United Nations agencies, governments, and even corporations throughout the world. But what we'll consider here are the sorts of changes that have come about from this groundswell of sentiment. And we'll ask, what is the predicament of gender and development and gender justice throughout the world today? Firstly, we'll talk about gender and gender justice as a single story.

Skip to 0 minutes and 52 secondsSo we'll really pick what it means to have a particular idea about what gender justice must look like everywhere at all times, and really raise questions about whether or not there is a single story, and what some of the consequences of just having one story about one situation might be. And the other thing we'll raise is the concept of unconscious bias. What do we understand about our own engagement with gender and gender bias, gender inequality, gender thinking? We'll be thinking about the way in which those gender and sexuality rights don't translate smoothly across cultures necessarily.

Skip to 1 minute and 35 secondsSo we'll be mindful of what sorts of issues around gender and gender and development, gender equality, gender freedom, et cetera, are meaningful in different contexts. DR.

Skip to 1 minute and 47 secondsFRANCESCA BUSSEY: One of the things I've liked about working with you on the course is your ability to take some really quite complex ideas and make them accessible, make them understandable through a series of narratives. So this is what we're going to be looking at and exploring through this course. DR.

Skip to 2 minutes and 5 secondsMAREE PARDY: Theories of exploration and explanation of how the world works, what gender is, what sexuality is, what gender justice might mean, what gender and development might mean-- those things necessarily require quite a level of philosophical depth and engagement. And yet, there is always an empirical intent to all of that work. So this is kind of dynamic, I think, between the theory and the empirical or the real or the practical. DR.

Skip to 2 minutes and 41 secondsFRANCESCA BUSSEY: That lived experience. DR.

Skip to 2 minutes and 42 secondsMAREE PARDY: Lived experience. And that dynamism, really, between the two, really is a major feature of this unit, I think. DR.

Skip to 2 minutes and 50 secondsFRANCESCA BUSSEY: And another factor that I think is quite exciting is the social component of it is really-- which we call social learning-- is great, because it means that you have to articulate what are really complex ideas. And in the articulation of those ideas, you also find the learning. And that's where I think there's some real strength in this approach. DR.

Skip to 3 minutes and 11 secondsMAREE PARDY: Well, this course includes participants from all over the world. Each person will have their own experiences and understandings of gender and of development, and even of gender and sexuality justice. Some of you will be practitioners in a field of development or humanitarianism, or perhaps community development or the community sector more broadly. Some of you will perhaps be completely new to this field. I'm sure all of you will have as much to share as you have to gain on our journey as we engage together through our studies. We also draw on issues here in the course of this unit that some of you may consider controversial. Some issues might even provoke emotional responses.

Skip to 3 minutes and 58 secondsAnd you might wish to be mindful of these as you participate in the conversations with each other. So at this point, I would suggest that we get to know each other a little better. Please write a little bit about yourself, your experiences, your interests, or your motivations in actually taking this course. And once again, welcome to Gender and Development. And I'm looking forward to learning with you and with Fran as we undertake the course together.

Let's get started

Meet your education team and explore some key concepts in Gender and Development.

Is the developing world heterosexual? Is gender a performance? What’s the story with gender and development?

In 2015 the UN pledged to work towards ending all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere by 2030.

Such commitments indicate the success of Gender and Development as both an intellectual and a political project. In this course we’ll trace its history and also subject the claims of success to some serious scrutiny.

Over the next two weeks you’ll:

  • explore the concept of Gender and how it is now considered an integral part of development
  • analyse the concept of Development – what does it mean, what is its history, have we arrived yet?
  • investigate whether the association of gender with development is making a positive difference in people’s lives
  • consider how can thinking about development improve the life experiences of people in diverse contexts?

See your ‘To do’ menu for an overview of all Week 1 and Week 2 activities and steps.

Meet the team

Your Lead Educator for this course is Dr Maree Pardy. Follow Maree to keep up with the latest course updates, feedback and discussions. The team also includes expert mentor Dr Francesca Bussey who will be working with Maree to help you get the most out of this course.

You can also meet and follow fellow participants by reading through their introductions on the course welcome page.

Different ways to learn

  • If you have a general interest in this topic, you can work through the core learning activities in about three hours each week. You will have the opportunity to check your understanding and spend some time joining the discussions.
  • If you would like to develop an integrated understanding of the topic, expected at a postgraduate level, spend more time engaging with all the learning activities. Delve into the additional resources listed below See also and actively comment, take part in discussions and review how other participants are responding and engaging.
  • If you would like to connect with educators and participants using social media you can engage with our cohort on Twitter using #FLgenderdev. If you’re new to social media check these social media tips and tools.
  • This course provides video resources via YouTube, and the videos may not be available in some countries.

Your task

In the comments, take a moment to introduce yourself and share what the idea of global gender justice means to you.

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This video is from the free online course:

Gender and Development

Deakin University

Get a taste of this course

Find out what this course is like by previewing some of the course steps before you join: