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Lecture 8

POL201Y1 Lecture 8: Sex and Gender

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Political Science
Abbas Gnamo

POL201-March 3, 2015 Introduction- Sex and Gender • Sex =biological and physiological • Roles that men and women play in society are not biologically determined • Feminists believe that gender roles are socially constructed and can be deconstructed • They are socially determined, changing and changeable Feminists Goals • Feminists may disagree on many issues and strategies of struggle to achieve women’s liberation • They all agree on the struggle for gender equality employment equity, pay equity • Fight against Patriarchy and physical and sexual violence perpetrated against women embedded social institutions family code, physical integrity and ownership rights • Equal access to material welfare, resources, responsibilities and opportunities, participation in decision making • Women are not allow in some countries to vote, drink and drive a car Feminists Waves • First wave o Late 19 century –suffrage (rights to education) • The second wave o Period of rebirth of the feminist movement that lasted from 1960s until the 1980s – social and economic rights ▪ Counter movement of the 1960 ▪ For civil rights • Third wave o Begin in the 1990s and lasts until this day. Tackle some unfinished business of the first two waves –reproduce freedom, ending violence against women and incorporate women into politics ▪ Achieve our goals by being educated ▪ Many issues many have to fight for Feminist theories and strategies • Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex, 1949 (theoretical) o Women is always the other in a male dominated society o Criticized for not being radical • Betty Friedan, the Feminine mystique, 1963 (populist) o Governed American middle class women o Telling women that they are happy at home • Two books someway give rights to feminists movements • Liberal feminism is mostly a movement of white middle class women who just asking for equality is the context of liberalism • Equality between men and women • Feminist perspectives and strategies include: o Liberal feminists o Socialist feminists o Cultural “” o Neo-Marxist “” o Radical “” ▪ Sexual liberation presented by lesbian women o Black/Third World “” ▪ White middle class do not understand women issues because they never experienced slavery and colonialism ▪ They don’t understand feminists issues like a black women does • Example: U.S black and white women do not have the same experience even though they have the same issues as women o Post-modern “” ▪ Theory which came about in 1980s which challenged all existing knowledge and theories including human rights, and feminists movements o Muslims “” etc. The impact of colonialism • Colonialism introduced Victorian and masculine ideology o Indigenous women enjoy more rights • It mistreated women or treated less equality than traditional institutions had • In some Western African societies, women served as chiefs of held other important position, but this was altered under colonial rule • The post-colonial state continued this patriarchal and masculine ideology • Matrilineal societies have gradually given way to patrilineal societies Forms of Gender Inequality: Global • The murder of 5000 Indian women annually committed by husbands • The UN estimated the member of women disappearing every year at 100 million • Courts that condone honor killings of women of suspected of extramarital relations • Gender inequality and exploitation exist in many societies and the problems are most severe in many parts of the Third World • Sometimes in some cultures are more important than lives • It is estimated that out of 1.2 billion people living in extreme poverty, 70% are women • African women are responsible for 75% of agricultural work but earn 10% of the total revenue • Worldwide, 85 million girls are deprived of an education • Women comprise two thirds of the illiterate population, suffer unemployment, dependency on men, exposure to violence and harassment • Majority of girls under 5 and pregnant/women are malnourished • Girls are more susceptible to health problems • Majority of HIV are in Africa • Gender approaches to development • 1940s to 60s, women were only viewed as mothers and housewives • Men were seen to be the breadwinners of their families, women were invisible • Development theorists and planners saw men as the agents and actors of development • The feminist Movements in various parts of the world advocated for the elimination of all kinds of gender discrimination • Women in the North lobbied for change in the legal and administrative structure to ensure that women would be better integrated into economic systems Gender approaches to development • UN Decade for Women (1975-1985: theme of these conference were Equality, Development and Peace) • These conferences have provided a space where women around the world discussed bout issues that affect women in the world • Women from developing countries have challenged the western feminist global sisterhood ideology •
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