Women's rights in comparative perspective, focusing on varying settings that alter the meaning and practical application. Domestic level: areas including abortion politics to trafficking in women. International level: areas including equality claims before European supranational judicial bodies, rape as war crime in international law. Offered: jointly with POL S 327.
The purpose of this course is to expose students to the complex world of gender relations and familiarize them with some of social, legal, political and economic difficulties that women of all nations, faiths and classes have to encounter in their every life. The course will present both a thematic and comparative approach to study of women’s rights. In this regard, we will focus on a number of substantive areas of rights from reproductive rights to economic and political rights of women across a wide range of cultures and societies. The topics to be covered will include discussions of cultural relativism, women’s rights in various religious traditions, honor killings, dowry deaths, abortion, women’s rights at workplace, women’s rights at the time of war, rape as a war crime, violence against women, women in politics, and issues of poverty and women’s rights to development. The empirical materials will also focus on a wide geographical range from Middle East to South Asia, Africa, Europe and North America. Students are expected to think globally about women’s rights by transcending such differences as race, ethnicity, religion and nationality, and learn more about common problems that women suffer from under oppressive and patriarchal institutions all around the world. Furthermore, students will be required to conduct research on a women’s rights topic of their choice and produce a 12 pages long research paper to be submitted during the finals week.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Class assignments and grading
Class Assignments/Participation (20%); in-class midterm (40 %), Final Research Paper not to exceed 12 double-spaced pages in length (40%)