What is gender and how does it differ from sex?
Sources and Gender
Welcome to Week 6.
CO1: Deconstruct current research on global citizenship
CO2: Differentiate between scholarly and popular sources that focus on global studies.
CO3: Examine sources and information to determine their authority, reliability, timeliness.
CO4: Use appropriate research tools to find relevant scholarly information
CO5: Clarify the ways that information literacy provides a foundation for both global citizenship and lifelong learning.
LO1: To identify and evaluate reputable, scholarly sources for the final research paper
Topic of Discussion:
Efforts to evaluate sources
Key Learning Concepts:
1. An authoritative source is a work known to be reliable because it is corroborated, from a trustworthy source, and available for others to check.
2. “Sex” refers to the biological and physiological characteristics that define men and women.”Gender” refers to the socially constructed roles, behaviours, activities, and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for men and women.
The Learning Material section contains the weekly lesson along with readings, videos, and other material that conveys this week’s topics.
Required resources for your course are provided in a course eReserve. Information included in LibAnswers provides download and print options for offline reading of Library ebooks.
• The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 60: A Bridge to Which Future?
• Gender, Development, and Human Rights: Exploring Global Governance
• Women’s Rights
• Women in UN Peacekeeping: Historical and Contemporary Patterns
(recommended not required)
Sources and Gender
Gender: This chapter focuses on the connections between gender, poverty, and development. It explores gendered manifestations of poverty and the ways that gendered assumptions impact development projects.
As you read, keep the following questions in mind:
• What is gender and how does it differ from sex?
• How do gender roles and other assumptions about gender impact policy creation and policy implementation?
• How might gender affect labor and migration patterns?
• What strategies has the UN used to mainstream gender concerns into development initiatives?
• What are some of the ways that gender intersects with human rights concerns?
• A biological distinction
• Determined by anatomical characteristics and genetic material
• Refers to the socially learned behaviors that are considered masculine and feminine within a specific culture.
• Gendered distinctions are social constructs that vary across cultures and historical periods.
• Learned rathar than etched in our DNA.
Gender, Poverty, & Development
The focus of development in the post World War II era was to improve the economic status of the world’s poorest nations. There are competing theories of economic development. Adam Smith’s “Wealth of Nations” and “rationale man” free market capitalist approach, fails to account for how women live their lives and the limits society puts on them. Marxism– the belief that unbridled capitalism is responsible for the “under” development of the world’s poor countries– assumes capitalism, not patriarchy, is responsible for women’s lower economic position.
Early development approaches failed to account for gender roles in societies. For example, assuming men were farmers when actually women did agricultural production. Women in development (WID) projects performed like an ‘add women and stir’ approach. Thy did not account for the way gender roles and assumptions operate in specific societies. Gender and development issues (GAD)–took the approach that successful development does not “target women, it empowers them.”
Women affected by poverty differently, particularly during difficult economic times. They are affected by:
– Survival sex
– Increased rates of unemployment
– Lower wages
Gender and our assumptions about gender roles continue to operate even if we remain unaware of their impact. For example, if we are trying to figure out a strategy for economic development of a country, one might look at national income or wealth as a key data point, which is made up of data around products made and sold, salaries, etc. What is not examined is the amount of non-enumerated work women do that contributes to a nation’s wealth. From child care to informal economic activity, tasks essential to a state’s ability to function are not factored into how we measure a nation’s wealth.
The failure to account for how women spend their time and how their activities contribute to society inevitably results in development policies that are very unlikely to be successful. Likewise, when IR theorists ponder security, personal security is typically absent from the analysis. State sponsored personal security issues such as torture may rise to the level of analysis, but domestic abuse or sexual violence both of which females across the global suffer from disproportionally does not. Yet if one does not factor in how secure one-half of the population is, how complete is that analysis?
Feminist theorists share a common perspective that argues that the failure to take gender into account results in an incomplete, and thus severely limited, understanding of IR. Demanding we avoid positioning women and what they do or how they live as marginal or superfluous to the study of “realpolitik” is about seeking out a deeper, richer, and more comprehensive approach to IR
Structural Adjustment Programs
SAPs affected women and men differently. They placed a larger burden on women’s unpaid labor. Loss of income, due to currency devaluation and increased unemployment, coupled with loss of public services, including access to subsidized health care, especially prenatal care, made it more difficult for women to take care of the nutritional and health needs of their families. SAPs allowed the state to save money by cutting services that women were then compelled to attempt to provide without pay.
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) include gender equality as a goal. The goals are:
1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
2. Achieve universal primary education
3. Promote gender equality and empower women
4. Reduce child mortality
5. Improve maternal health
6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases
7. Ensure environmental sustainability
8. Develop a global partnership for development
By including gender equality as a MDG, the UN highlighted the connections among gender equality, poverty reduction, and sustainable development
Take a look at this brief video on the Goals.
In the 2004 Report of the Secretary-General, Women and Peace and Security, Member States, entities of the United Nations and civil society to were urged to “Ensure the full participation of women and incorporation of gender perspectives in all conflict prevention work and to strengthen interaction with women’s organizations to ensure that their contributions, as well as their needs and priorities, are included in the collection and analysis of information to guide conflict prevention strategies and early warning efforts.” The United States Institute of Peace has established the Center for Gender and Peace building which participated in the Equality for Peace and Democracy Conference in Kabul in February 2014.
However, change can be frustratingly slow. As Damilola Agbajobi pointed out in 2010, there are some severe challenges including:
• The prevalence of rape and sexual assault, as in Rwanda, Bosnia, and Kashmir. This form of abuse generates fear and helps to silence campaigns for social, economic and political rights.
• Women are most likely to have fled conflict and take on responsibilities such as primary carers and providers for dependents, which makes participation in peacebuilding more difficult.
• Cultural pressures against women putting themselves forward, that pressure woman to refrain from travel, and not to engage in important public arenas. Where women do participate, they may not have the required education or training.
• A lack of resources such as a lack of access to employment opportunities and to productive assets such as land, capital, health services, training, and education.
• Women’s movements do not have established mechanisms to monitor and evaluate the implementation of the gender agenda in post-conflict settings. For example, in Somalia male-dominated structures have not seen the need to implement agreed affirmative action. (Agbajobi, 2010)
Women and Conflict Resolution Organizations
Because of the issues that have slowed implementation of 1325, The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom developed the PeaceWomen Project. As they state on their website,
“PeaceWomen implements our mission by focusing on six core areas of action which are: monitoring the UN Security Council’s implementation of SCR1325; providing a comprehensive online information source on women, peace and security at www.peacewomen.org; monitoring the UN system’s implementation of SCR1325; advocating for the rapid and full implementation of SCR 1325 and related resolutions; managing the translation initiative and general outreach related to women, peace and security.”
Some of the other organizations focusing on women and conflict resolution are:
• The Consortium on Gender, Security and Human Rights
• Nobel Women’s Initiative
• Femmes Africa Solidarité
• Global Justice Center
• The Institute for Inclusive Security
• Women for International Peace and Arbitration
• Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom
• Working Group on Women, Peace and Security
If you are interested in this topic, you might want to consider taking one of UN Women’s “I Know Gender”, free, self-paced courses.
While globalization is frequently discussed in gender-neutral terms, its processes often affect men and women in different ways. The decisions of international economic institutions like the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, for example, affect women and men around the world, but in some cases, programs have led to increased rates of female poverty in developing countries. Development efforts designed to improve the well-being of people in developing countries have also sometimes failed because they did not include women in the development process and/or because plans and programs were based on inaccurate assumptions about gender. While the UN has demonstrated its commitment to formulating treaties and programs that attempt to achieve gender equality for people around the world, it is clear that there is still much work to be done. Understating how globalization and gender intersect in the context of a variety of issues, such as labor, migration, human security, human rights, education, training, and health, can provide a solid foundation for both state and non-state actors to formulate policies that have the potential to benefit all members of society.
Activities & Assessment
The Activities & Assessment section includes the activities and assessments for the week that provide you an opportunity to practice the material and then demonstrate what you’ve learned.
Assignment: Choose Sources
Welcome to the second assignment!
This is the second part of your project after the Week 2 proposal assignment. In this installment, your goal is to find six academically appropriate sources and to articulate why they are appropriate.
Locate six (6) total sources:
1. Three peer-reviewed articles
2. One governmental source
3. One nongovernmental source or think tank publication
4. One book or book chapter
Please begin your searches in the APUS online library. You may also find books and book chapters in this open-access resource: https://oapen.org/.
For each source, please provide the following information:
1. Full reference. Please use Chicago Author-Date format.
2. Summarize. Provide a short description of the contents of the source. This is purely descriptive — here you do not editorialize the source but simply describe what it contains.
3. Assess. Evaluate the strengths of the source using this checklist, the CAARP test. (You can find a detailed version of this list here: https://library.csuchico.edu/sites/default/files/craap-test.pdf):
1. Currency. When was the source published? Is anything outdated?
2. Authority. What are the author’s qualifications and credentials? What institutions or universities is he/she affiliated with?
3. Accuracy. Can you tell where the information came from? Has it come from a reputable source that you can verify?
4. Relevance. Who is the source written for? Does it relate to the field of study or another field? (Note: this is not the place to remark on whether the study relates to your thesis; the author(s) didn’t conduct their research with student papers in mind. Save the relevance to your research for the “Reflection” section).
5. Purpose. What is the author trying to do with his/her article? Is the goal to make an argument, to educate, to challenge an idea, or something else?
4. Reflect. State how the source serves your research project (2-3 sentences). Articulate how the article has shaped your thinking about your topic and what arguments or ideas of your own it informs.
Repeat these steps for all six sources.
Please upload your assignment in a document and/or paste it if possible. Don’t hesitate to write with any questions.
(16.6 points each) Full Reference CAARP Test
Image: The image shows the phases of your information literacy project: joining the conversation, looking for sources, evaluating sources, citing sources, synthesizing sources, and repeat. This assignment is at the phase of finding and evaluating sources.
Components of the CAARP test
Components of the CAARP test
Match the components of the CAARP test to the purpose that helps you evaluate each category.
Question 1 options:
The goal of this portion is to ask what the source is aiming to accomplish — and to check that this goal dovetails with our research goals. Some sources are trying to advance arguments. Others are trying to present data to advance knowledge and information. Other types of sources might be trying to advance a political perspective or to entertain a reader, and these types are less useful for supporting a research paper.
The purpose of this portion is to determine if we can tell where information came from and if it’s correct, reputable, verifiable, and reliable.
This portion is about evaluating the author or body that wrote and/or published the source. By looking into the author’s credentials and professional affiliations (universities, agencies, research institutes), we can determine if the source should be upheld to speak on the matter at hand. We must also look into the publisher with the same questions.
The purpose is to determine whether the source is out of date. Ideally, a source should have been published within the last 5 years, but part of our work is to determine the best range of time for which a source is appropriate to our research topic. A source from 2019 feels recent, but it would be out of date if our topic is the global pandemic.
The purpose of this portion is to ask who the source is written for and to determine whether it’s an appropriate source for our intentions and goals. Here we need to determine whether a source is related to the field of study that we’re working within.
What is gender and how does it differ from sex?
Gender refers to the socially constructed roles, behaviors, activities, and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for men and women. Gendered distinctions are social constructs that vary across cultures and historical periods, and they are learned rather than etched in our DNA. In contrast, sex is a biological distinction determined by anatomical characteristics and genetic material.